NGT bans glass powder-coated kite string across country

New Delhi, Dec 14 (IANS) The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday imposed a nationwide interim ban on the procurement, sale and use of glass powder-coated ‘manja’ and other dangerous kite strings.

An NGT bench headed by Chairman Justice Swatanter Kumar passed the order for an interim ban on nylon thread — also called ‘Chinese manja’ — as well as synthetic/cotton thread coated with glass powder or other hazardous compounds until the next hearing on February 1, 2017.

The bench said the glass poweder-coated kite string not only posed a threat to birds, animals and humans but also caused harm to the environment.

The order came in response to a petition by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – India, which called for a nationwide ban on all kinds of sharp kite strings.

Reacting to the NGT order, PETA said the interim ban is expected to save many lives as it comes just a month before ‘Makar Sankranti’, a festival marked with flying kites during which there are many bird and human deaths due to dangerous kite string.

“Manja is a menace — it is a threat to the lives of humans and birds and hinders essential services such as electricity,” PETA government affairs liaison official Nikunj Sharma said in a statement.

PETA filed the petition in the NGT in August, after which notices were issued to all state governments, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and the Ministry of Power to seek their responses.

On August 15, three persons — among them two children — were killed in Delhi when their throats were slashed by ‘manja’.

Last year, several two-wheeler riders died because of injuries to their throat area by sharp kite string in different parts of the country.