Nylon and glass-coated manja will not be used for flying kites, with the Supreme Court on Friday declining to interfere with a National Green Tribunal (NGT) order that banned sale of such thread.
“It’s too bad if you use it,” a bench of Justice MB Lokur and Justice PC Pant told the counsel appearing for traders who wanted the sale of glass-coated manja to continue. The court asked the petitioners to agitate their grievances before the tribunal that is yet to pass a final order on the use of manja.
Advocate Manish Singhvi argued the green court had given the interim prohibitory order without laying down guidelines. He claimed his clients dealt with manja that had 1% glass coating. “The petitioners have been in business for years and have invested money,” he submitted, while supported the NGT for banning “Chinese nylon manja.”
However, the bench was unimpressed and refused to budge, despite the counsel pleading that the festival to fly kites had begun and the ban would lead to a financial losses. The court also dismissed the plea of traders dealing with nylon manja and noted the NGT had rightly held it was non-biodegradable.
While issuing the ban order, NGT had held in July 2016 that the string, coated with glass and metal powder, posed a threat to the environment. Besides, a direction was issued to the Manja Association of India to submit report to Central Pollution Control Board on the harmful effects of kite strings.
Before the directive, the tribunal had sought a report from all state governments on a plea of animal rights body People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), that raised the issue before the green court.
PETA contended manja posed a grave threat to humans and animals as every year a number of deaths were caused by it. Manja was also a huge threat when it came into contact with live overhead electric wires, leading to grid failure.
PETA had said that minor children were engaged by the cottage industry for the manufacture of manja which caused respiratory problems as they inhaled harmful substances.