The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday imposed a temporary nationwide ban on the use of glass-coated kite strings. The green panel said the sharp manja poses a grave threat to humans, animals and birds, reported PTI. The ban will be in place till February 1, 2017, when the court will hear the matter again. Till then, only strings made of biodegradable fabrics will be allowed, reported Hindustan Times.
The bench, headed by NGT Chairperson Swatanter Kumar, also asked the Manja Association of India to submit report to the Central Pollution Control Board on the harmful effects of kite strings. The pollution board will recommend a solution based on the report to the NGT, reported dna.
The green panel, which said that the ban order would apply on nylon, Chinese and cotton manjas coated with glass and metal powder, was hearing a petition filed by the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals. The animal rights body sought a ban on kite-flying with such manja during the Makar Sankranti festival in mid-January.
In its petition, PETA said that apart from posing a great danger to human beings and animals, such manjas also lead to power grid failure when these come in contact with live overhead electric wires. “As the manjas being coated with glass, metals and other sharp material, these strings act as good conductors of electricity, increasing the probability of detached manja strings stuck in power lines, electrocuting kite flyers and passers-by coming into contact with these strings,” said PETA’s lawyer Sanjay Hedge.
In 2015, the Allahabad High Court had banned the use of Chinese manjas in Uttar Pradesh. The Delhi government asked people to stop using such kite strings after three people were killed by the razor-sharp strings ahead of Independence Day.
Meanwhile, the Hyderabad forest department and the police have already started a crackdown on those selling such manja, reported The Hindu. Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Manoranjan Bhanja said, “If you notice the sale, purchase or use of Chinese manjas, inform us and we will raid or arrest the people involved.”