Manja ban: Shopkeepers express displeasure, say ban should have been brought year ago

On Friday, the apex court had agreed to hear a plea seeking a nationwide ban on the procurement, sale and use of glass powder-coated 'manja'.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: Jan 06, 2018, 11:14 AM IST
Manja ban: Shopkeepers express displeasure, say ban should have been brought year ago

AHMEDABAD: Shopkeepers in Ahmedabad on Saturday expressed their displeasure over the nationwide ban on the procurement, sale and use of glass-coated 'manja', saying the legal prohibition should have been brought a year ago. 

"Business will suffer a blow as a result of NGT's Public interest litigation (PIL) in Supreme Court to ban glass-coated kite-strings. If a ban had to be implemented, it should have been done a year ago and not days before the peak time of their business," a shopkeeper said. 

On Friday, the apex court had agreed to hear a plea seeking a nationwide ban on the procurement, sale and use of glass powder-coated 'manja'.

The top court had earlier asked petitioners, who in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) sought a ban on 'manja' as it resulted in more than 50 deaths in the last two years, to approach the NGT with their plea.

In December last year, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned the sale and use of glass coated thread in the entire country, including Chinese 'manja' until the next hearing on February 1, 2017.

In 2016, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India filed a petition urging the NGT to ban the use of 'manja' across the country.

As PETA India warns, 'manja' - which is often coated with glass, metal, or other sharp objects - poses a lethal threat to humans and animals alike.In July 2016, a man died in Ghaziabad after his throat was slashed by 'manja' while he was riding a motorbike.

In August 2015, a man in East Delhi died after his throat was slit by 'manja' while he was returning home on his motorbike.

Thousands of birds are also killed every year when they are cut or trapped by 'manja', which can get caught on trees or buildings for weeks.

A bird rescuer in Ahmedabad estimates that 2,000 birds including pigeons and endangered species such as vultures are injured every year during the Uttarayan festival, and 500 of them die from their injuries.

According to estimates, more than 300 birds were injured and over 100 died because of 'manja' during Makar Sankranti in Hyderabad in 2015.

According to Delhi power company BSES, a single incident involving a kite near an electrical establishment can affect up to 10,000 customers.

Several top power companies, such as Reliance Power and Tata Power, have time and again issued advisories urging people not to fly kites near electrical establishments.

Manja is made of synthetic material such as nylon and is also non-biodegradable - it litters the soil and chokes drainage lines, sewer systems, and natural waterways.

Citing the dangers 'manja' poses to humans, birds, and the environment, the High Courts of Rajasthan, Allahabad, and Jammu and Kashmir have already banned the use of 'manja' in their respective states.