Delhi ban on Chinese, other sharp kite-flying strings in place for 2 years, but only on paper
Experts said that apart from seizure of a few hundred kilos of manjha, the authorities have failed to implement the ban in DelhiUpdated: Apr 03, 2019 07:06 IST
The Delhi government had more than two years ago banned Chinese manjha and other sharp kite-flying strings in the capital.
On Monday afternoon, an 18-year-old resident of north Delhi’s Gandhi Vihar was killed when a stray kite string, which police suspect was banned Chinese manjha, slit his throat while he was riding a bike. Activists said that the incident once again has proved that the manjha ban continues only on paper.
Chinese manjha was banned in the national capital by the government on January 10, 2017. The notification put a ban on sale, production, storage, supply, import and use of kite flying thread made out of nylon, plastic or any other synthetic material — including ‘Chinese manjha’ and any other kite flying thread that is sharp and laced with glass and metals.
Experts and activists, however, said that apart from seizure of a few hundred kilos of such manjha, the authorities have failed to implement the ban.
“Unless the authorities crack down on manufacturers or stop the import of such items, it won’t stop. We have to break the trade chain. Seizing some banned items from a few shops or lodging a few FIRs against some citizens won’t help,” said Gauri Maulekhi, trustee of People for Animals.
In August 2018, Delhi police seized around 100 kilos of banned manjha from Lal Kuan kite market near Chandni Chowk and Chand Mohalla in East Delhi.
“It is a very unfortunate. The Delhi government has already banned it. But we would have to identify the source – whether it is still being found in the city or coming from adjoining states. I had even written to the Union minister in July to ban the import of such products,” said state environment minister Imran Hussain, who was conferred the ‘Hero to Animals’ award by PETA-India in December 2018 for banning such items.
The Delhi government’s notification says that while officials from the revenue department, forest department, Delhi Police and civic bodies would implement the ban, the chairman and member secretary of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and sub-divisional magistrates are authorized to file complaints on the basis of reports filed by officers of the revenue department, police and civic bodies.
Madhur Verma, Delhi Police’s spokesperson, said that regular efforts are made to sensitise people about the dangers of using Chinese manjha. “If we find someone selling or even using the banned manjha, we book them under the IPC Section 188 (which carries a jail term of one month or a fine of ₹200),” said Verma.
But police’s main focus is during the three months of kite flying festival from August to October. “Section 144 of CrPC is in force across the city during three months to ensure there is no sale or purchase of banned manjha,” said Nupur Prasad, DCP (north), where kite flying is common.
But despite all the efforts the sale of the banned manjha continues. This is revealed from the fact the city’s veterinary hospitals continue to receive injured birds on a regular basis. “We get at least 15–20 birds each year which are injured by either Chinese manjha or manjha that are made sharp with a coating of glass and metals,” said Aavritee Naithani, legal advisor of Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre.