‘Kiting festivals are killing people,’ says senior NGT lawyer Asim Sarode
Shrinivas Deshpande speaks to senior lawyer of National Green Tribunal (NGT), Asim Sarode.pune Updated: Feb 12, 2018 14:59 IST
The recent incidents of nylon manja, a thread used for flying kites, causing fatal injuries has once again come to fore after the death of Suvarna Mujumdar, a media professional. Shrinivas Deshpande speaks to senior lawyer of National Green Tribunal (NGT), Asim Sarode.
What do you think of the easy availability of nylon manja despite NGT’s ban?
This is a clear violation of the NGT’s 2017 order banning the sale of nylon manja. Hence, ‘Lawyers For Earth Justice’, an organisation of lawyers fighting for a sustainable environment, is going to a file petition at NGT against its failure in implementing the ban under Sections 25 and 26 of NGT. As a community, our response to such incidents are being limited to that specific incident only and all residents forget what happened. Therefore, there is no viable plan to prevent any such event in the future.
Can you please elaborate on the order given by NGT?
Actually, the ban on nylon manja was made not only because it was injuring animals and birds, but also because it was lethal and non-biodegradable, as clearly stated by the NGT. The tribunal had also directed all state governments and union territories to prohibit the manufacture, sale, storage, purchase and use of nylon manja, generally used for kiting. We are demanding that a case be registered under Section 304 of Indian Penal Code against people found violating the rule.
Most of our celebrities and ministers promote kiting. Are they also responsible for such incidents?
Yes.Our Prime Minister and many actors are promoting kiting as a festival. We have to understand the real importance of our festivals. If our kiting festival is responsible for the death of young professionals in the city, then we have to understand that we need to stop the festival.
As per the Animal Welfare Board of India, 990 birds were injured in 2017. Your thoughts on this?
NGT had banned the usage of nylon manja taking into account the lives of all living elements in the environment. In case of birds and animals, we have to become more serious as they cannot raise their voice against the issue. Such bans always help animals and birds, but they need to be implemented stringently.
What is your advice to Puneites on the issue?
We are living in an environment alongside animals and birds. We need to ensure that we give everyone an equal opportunity to survive. We have to understand that the kiting festival we undertake is the reason for someone’s despair. Police can also contribute by strictly enforcing laws and journalists can help my making the public aware of the issue.