Ban on sale of fireworks in Indian capital as festival nears

India's Supreme Court has banned the sale of fireworks in New Delhi and nearby towns, 10 days before the Hindu festival of Diwali, in a move to curb the capital's deadly air pollution.

The ban is effective immediately and lasts until Nov. 1.

Millions of highly polluting firecrackers are lit on Diwali, which falls on Oct. 19 this year.

The court said Monday that it would assess whether banning fireworks will make a difference to New Delhi's air, among the dirtiest in the world.

The court said that people who had already bought fireworks can use them, but that new ones could not be sold. Activists fear people will smuggle fireworks from neighboring states.