State governments have been directed to prohibit the “manufacture, sale, storage, purchase and use” of synthetic ‘manja’ or nylon threads and all other synthetic threads used for flying kites.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) imposed on 11 July 2017 a blanket ban on nylon and synthetic ‘manja’ — the string used to fly kites — as it poses a threat to animals and humans. State governments have been directed to prohibit the “manufacture, sale, storage, purchase and use” of synthetic ‘manja’ or nylon threads and all other synthetic threads used for flying kites. The ban also includes cotton ‘manja’ coated with glass, the tribunal clarified. A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said: “There shall be a total ban on the ‘manja’, which are made of nylon or any other synthetic material or are coated with synthetic non-biodegradable substances.” Earlier in December 2016, the NGT had imposed an interim nationwide ban on the use of glass-coated ‘manja’ for flying kites as the sharp string poses a danger. In January, the Supreme Court declined lifting the ban imposed by the NGT. Last year, a three-year-old girl died while looking out of her car’s window, when a ‘manja’ slit her throat in Delhi’s Maharani Bagh.
This is one of the many incidents reported across the country. The judgment came on the plea filed by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Khalid Ashraf and others who had contended that ‘manja’ posed a grave threat to humans and animals as every year a number of deaths are caused by it. The petition also claimed that minor children were engaged by the cottage industry for the manufacture of ‘manja’, which caused respiratory problems as they inhaled harmful substances which were detrimental to their health. Animal rights activists alleged that sometimes these strings coated with sharp metals are also used to trap and kill migratory birds.