Pune: Despite a ban on sale of nylon manja (kite string) by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in 2017, in the wake of the threat the manja poses to humans, birds and animals, rampant use of the same is killing many people and birds across the country.
Nikunj Sharma, Head of Public Policy, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) said in 2016 they filed a petition in NGT to ban all forms of manja. But in 2017 NGT made a final judgment and diluted its own order and excluded the glass coated cotton thread manja from the ban. Even after providing proof to NGT from victims in Gujarat, NGT did not support a ban on all forms of manja. The nylon manja is as dangerous as the glass coated cotton thread manja. Also NGT has put a fine of Rs 1 lakh and five years imprisonment on sale of nylon manja.
Sharma said, “We approached the Supreme Court in August 2017, but the court did not hold any hearing and we were told to appeal in the High Court. Currently we are writing to all State government bodies, as the government could bring a ban in the State. Just as the Delhi government has brought a strict ban on all forms of manja.”
Sapna, who works as a domestic help in Kothrud said, "Children should fly kites on a higher ground, preferably on rooftops, as flying them on the ground is dangerous for pedestrians. Once when I was walking on a nearby street with my daughter, a manja came from nowhere, and left a huge cut on her hand. Although it wasn't very serious, this kind of negligence could critically hurt anybody."
JS Salunkhe, MPCB Sub Regional Officer, said, “Currently manja is not creating any environmental issues in the city. We could be in action only if there are any environmental issues due to manja or if there had been any company manufacturing manja in the city.”
A shopkeeper in Bhori Ali, Raviwar Peth, Akbar Kolhapurwala, said, “Business during this year was 50 per cent down as people were preferring nylon manja to cotton thread glass coated manja. Nylon manja was illegally sold in the market. Mostly people purchased nylon manja as they knew where it was being sold.”