AAP slams Centre, seeks ban on import of Chinese manjha

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 22, 2016 22:07 IST
Chinese kite string (manjha) sale in Lal Kuan market, Old Delhi, on Tuesday. (Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times)

Days after banning the manufacture, storage and use of all sharpened kite strings, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs blamed the Central government for allowing the import of Chinese manjha. Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia sought an explanation from the prime minister.

The issue was raised by party MLA Somnath Bharti on the first day of the four-day assembly session.

“The Central government should ban the import of killer Chinese manjha. People in Delhi can bring it from neighbouring town so no point just banning its use in Delhi. Import is not a state subject and the Central government should ban it across the country,” said Sisodia.

Leader of Opposition, Vijender Gupta, however, accused the Delhi government of delaying the process, which led to the death of two children and an adult.

“The Delhi government deliberately delayed the process of ban to benefit the mafia. An NGO alerted the government in March 2015, but they sat on it. The government is responsible for the deaths due to manjha,” said Gupta.

Stakeholders have been asked to send in their objections, if any, explaining why the ban shouldn’t be continued. The objections need to be sent over within 10 days from issue of the order.

Read: When manjha was just about kite-flying

The state environment department had issued a ‘draft notification’ on Tuesday that sought to impose a ban on the Chinese manjha. The notification sought objections from stakeholders till 60 days, saying the final notice will be issued after that.

“As per the act, people will get another 545 days to raise any objection. Last two years were wasted by Delhi government and the same government will waste next two years also,” Gupta added.

Somnath Bharti, who initiated the discussion, said banning the use of manjha won’t have much impact since the enforcement agencies are not with the AAP government. “If import is banned, the problem will be resolved. Vijender Gupta is raising the issue but he is silent on the responsibility of Central government,” said Bharti.

The discussion gained momentum when Sisodia demanded explanation from the PM and Gupta objected to the language used by him. In reply, Sisodia said when the matter is related to the people of Delhi, he will seek explanation from everyone.

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