Nationwide ban imposed on ‘manja’ for flying kites

Nationwide ban imposed on 'manja' for flying kites
Picture Courtesy: Beacon Holidays Blog

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday imposed a temporary nationwide ban on use of glass-coated ‘manja’ for flying kites, citing the danger to humans, animals and birds.

NGT Chairperson Swatanter Kumar, who was heading the bench, passed the order after noting that ‘manja’, string coated with glass and metal powder and used for flying kites, poses a threat to the environment.

The panel said that the ban order would apply on nylon, Chinese and cotton manja coated with glass and directed Manja Association of India to submit report to Central Pollution Control Board on harmful effects of kite strings.

Senior advocate Sanjay Hegde and advocate Shadan Farasat, representing animal rights body People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), sought the ban in the wake of the upcoming Makar Sankranti festival, when manja would be used for flying kites.

They also referred to various orders, including the November 2015 order of the Allahabad High Court which banned the use of Chinese manja in entire Uttar Pradesh and sought a ban on ‘manufacture, import, sale and use’ of these strings.

The matter has been posted for hearing on February 1, 2017.

The tribunal had earlier issued notices to all the state governments and sought their response on PETA’s plea, where it contended that ‘manja’ posed a grave threat to humans and animals as every year a number of deaths are caused by it.

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People flying kites during the festival of ‘Makara Sankranti’. Picture Courtesy: Women Planet

They argued that strings are sharpened with churned glass, metals and other materials in order to make them razor sharp to cut through other persons’ kite strings.

The petition also said ‘manja’ posed a huge threat when it came into contact with live overhead electric wires, leading to grid failure.

“Due to ‘manja’ 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,” it said.

PETA had averred that minor children were engaged by the cottage industry for the manufacture of ‘manja’ which caused respiratory problems as they inhaled harmful substances which were extremely detrimental to their health.

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Minor preparing ‘manja’. Picture Couresy: Abc.net.au

With PTI Inputs

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