Telangana helpline to implement ban on synthetic ‘manjha’

Amritsar: Workers prepare manja or manjha – the abrasive string used for fighter kites ahead of Lohri in Amritsar, on Jan 11, 2016. (Photo: IANS)

Hyderabad, Jan 11 (IANS) Telangana’s forest department has decided to strictly implement a ban on nylon/synthetic thread and glass-coated ‘manjha’ for kite-flying in the state.

The department has set up 24×7 helpline to report violations of the ban. Such cases may be reported on 1800-425-5364 or 040-2323-1440.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (HoFF) & Chief Wildlife Warden R. Sobha on Monday discussed with non-governmental organizations the implementation of ban on glass coated nylon ‘manjha’, which poses a serious threat to the safety of animals, humans and environment alike. Over the years, it has injured innumerable birds, animals and humans causing serious injuries and/or slow, painful deaths.

“Many humans, including young children, have also suffered impairment or lost their lives because of such manjha. The synthetic manjha remains in the environment for a long time as a toxic pollutant on tree tops, electric wires, roof tops long after the festival, causing injuries and even deaths. Improperly discarded manjha is known to cut fingers, hands, throats of kite flyers, motorcyclists with equal ease. The invasion of nylon and glass-coated manjha has resulted in the loss of livelihoods of innumerable local traditional cotton manjha craftsmen,” the department said.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) in 2017 total ban on ‘manjha’ or thread for kite flying, which is made of nylon and any synthetic material and / or is coated with synthetic substance and is non-biodegradable.

NGT prohibited manufacture, sale, store, purchase and use of synthetic manjha / Nylon thread and all other similar synthetic thread use for kite flying.

The Government of Telangana in 2017 imposed a complete ban on the procurement, stocking, sale and use of nylon- thread commonly called ‘Chinese Dor’ or other synthetic (non-biodegradable) thread coated with glass or other harmful substances used for kite flying.

As per section 15 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 any person found to be in violating the orders or directions under the Act is liable to be punished with imprisonment up to 5 years or with a fine up to one lakh rupees or with both.

Causing injury to wild animals and birds or death with synthetic ‘manjha’ amounts to hunting under section – 9 which is punishable under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 under section – 51 with imprisonment of 3 to 7 years and fine not less than Rs.10,000.

Causing injury or death to domestic animals also attracts provision of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.

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