Mumbai: The Mumbai police have issued a ban on the use, sale, and storage of ‘manja’ or nylon kite strings, which are often coated with powdered glass, in light of the risks they pose to both humans and birds. The ban, which will be in effect from January 12 to February 10, is timed to coincide with Makar Sankranti, a festival that traditionally includes flying kites. Anyone found in violation of the ban will face charges under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, which pertains to disobeying a lawful order of a public servant.
The dangers of ‘manjha’ kite strings
The use of ‘manja’ kite strings has been a longstanding concern for the safety of both humans and animals. The strings, which are often coated with powdered glass, can cause serious injuries and even death if they come into contact with people or animals. The danger is particularly high during kite-flying festivals, such as Makar Sankranti, when large numbers of kites are flown simultaneously.
Birds may get entangled in kite strings
The order cites the use of non-biodegradable synthetic thread as kite string as a cause of accidents, injuries to wildlife, and damage to the environment. It also notes the importance of protecting birds, many of which are becoming extinct and are classified as rare and endangered species. Many birds, particularly those that fly at low altitudes, are at risk of getting entangled in the kite strings, which can cause injury or death.
Mumbai cops ban nylon kite strings
The ban is being implemented with the goal of protecting public safety and preserving wildlife. The Mumbai police have urged citizens to use only biodegradable kite strings and to be mindful of the risks associated with kite-flying. The police have also urged the public to report any violations of the ban to the nearest police station.
In August last year, a biker died after his throat was slit by a glass-coated kite string in Delhi. Many such tragic deaths have occurred owing to these dangerous, glass-coated kites in the past few years.
(With PTI inputs)