New Delhi: In wake of the situation of pollution level in the national capital during Diwali in the last three years, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced a complete ban on storage, sale, and bursting of all kinds of firecrackers this year too. Taking to Twitter, CM Kejriwal wrote, “Just like last year, there will be a complete ban on storage, sale, and bursting of all kinds of firecrackers this year too, in wake of the situation of pollution in Delhi during Diwali in the last three years. (This is) so that people’s lives can be saved.”Also Read - Supreme Court Verdict on Pan-India Ban on Firecrackers Live News Updates: SC Allows Sale And Manufacture of Firecrackers, But With Riders

In a series of tweets, CM Kejriwal further acknowledged that last year’s ban was imposed late and that it led to losses for traders. He added that the late ban led to some traders continuing to stock and sell firecrackers – which then contributed to Delhi’s worst air quality levels (on the day after Diwali) in four years. “In view of the seriousness of pollution after the stocking of firecrackers by traders last year, a complete ban was imposed late, which caused losses to the traders. It is an appeal to all the traders that this time in view of the complete ban, do not do any kind of storage,” he added. Also Read - Delhi Chokes Despite Diwali Firecracker Ban; Air Quality Poor in Mumbai, Pune, Chennai

The announcement was made a day after CM Kejriwal and Environment Minister Gopal Rai sought an appointment with Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav to discuss measures to be taken to reduce pollution in the national capital. Earlier on Monday, CM Kejriwal urged the Centre to ask neighbouring states to distribute Pusa bio-decomposer for free among farmers. His appeal came after an audit by a central agency in Delhi has found the use of Pusa bio-decomposer, a microbial solution for stubble management, highly effective. He said stubble burning in neighbouring states in October is a major factor behind the high level of air pollution in Delhi.

“The farmers are not at fault. Governments are at fault because they had to offer a solution,” Kejriwal said. Last year, the Delhi government distributed the bio-decomposer free of cost which was used by farmers on 1,935 acres of land in 39 villages to convert stubble into manure, he said.

A survey by a central government agency, WAPCOS, has come up with very encouraging results on the use of the bio-decomposer. Ninety per cent of the farmers claimed that the solution turned stubble into manure in 15-20 days. Also, the content of carbon in the soil increased by 40 per cent, nitrogen 24 per cent, bacteria seven times and fungi three times. Sprouting of wheat also increased by 17-20 per cent, the chief minister said.

“We appeal to the Centre to ask the states to distribute the bio-decomposer free of cost among farmers to stop them from burning stubble,” he said. Kejriwal said he would call on the Union environment minister with the audit report and request his personal intervention in the matter.