The Mumbai police have banned use of glass coated manjas ahead of the Makar Sankranti festival to avoid possible injuries failing which the police will initiate cases. The police issued prohibitory order against usage of the thread on Thursday.
An order issued by the Mumbai police reads, “Whereas during the kite flying festival, injury is caused to the people and the birds on account of pucca thread made out of plastic or similar such synthetic material commonly known as nylon manja. These injuries many a times turn out to be fatal causing death of people and birds. It is therefore desirable to protect the people and birds from the fatal effects of the kite flying thread made out of nylon or plastic or synthetic thread (sic),”
The order further stated that these cut threads along with the kites remain on the land. “These threads continue to cause problems such as blockages of sewers, drainage lines, natural water ways such as rivers, streams, adversely effects on soil and waterways and cattle population cause by cutting or falling of such threads, suffocation of cows and other animals who ingest food items along with such nylon/plastic material. The impact of such plastic materials used for making thread is many and varied (sic).” reads the order.
According to the order, using of such threads often result in flash-over on the power lines and substations, which cause power interruptions. The police stated that use, sale and storage of such threads for a period of 30 days beginning from Thursday will attract an offence under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).
Animal welfare activists have welcomed the move. “We appreciate the police commissioner’s initiative of having the stern approach to illegal nationwide ban of thread. Animal Welfare officers will work with the police to ensure its implementation,” said Meet Ashar, emergency response co-ordinator for PETA India.
Earlier, the Mumbai airport officials last week had asked Mumbai police to keep a check on the annual kite flying custom around airport and to watch out for pranksters as the kites posed safety hazards.