The government of Maharashtra has issued a circular under section 5 of The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, banning the sale, storage, and use of deadly manja – sharp kite strings that have injured and killed birds and humans.
The circular comes as a result of a petition seeking a ban on manja, which was prompted by a concerned citizen and filed in the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court. People for Animals–Nagpur are an intervener in the matter.
Previously, after receiving appeals from PETA India, the government advisory body Animal Welfare Board of India had urged states and union territories to ban manja, while the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change had issued an advisory urging them to address the manja issue.
Photos of birds injured by manja:
The Maharashtra order states that:
The public are not allowed to use pucca threads – commonly known as nylon manja – made out of plastic or any such synthetic material which is likely to cause grievous injury to birds as well as humans during kite-flying.
- Wholesalers dealing in nylon manja will be told well in advance not to stock or sell it during the Makar Sankranti festival.
- Nylon manja threads are not to be used because they have adverse effects on soil, waterways and cattle populations – as they are non-biodegradable, harm the environment when they fall on the ground and cause immense injury to animals, who are often cut by the strings.
- The use of nylon manja threads often results in flashover on power lines and substations, causing power interruptions to consumers, straining and damaging electrical assets and causing accidents, injuries and loss of life as well as damage to environment – and therefore, such threads are not to be used for kite-flying.
Many states and district administrations have already taken steps to ban or restrict manja use. Bareilly, Meerut, Varanasi, Chennai, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Amritsar, South-West Delhi, and the Gandhi Nagar subdivision of East Delhi are among the places that have banned or restricted the use of manja in some way.
However, proper implementation of the law and avoidance of the problems caused by manja will only be possible with a blanket ban on the sale, production and use of all forms of dangerous manja.
How can YOU help?
Ask for a country-wide ban on lethal manja TODAY by sending a message to authorities here: