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India
12 Jul 2017

Decapitation, electrocution and more: NGT bans glass-coated manjha over dangers

No more glass-coated manjha for flying kites

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned 'manjha' (kite string) made from nylon or other non-biodegradable material considering the risks they pose to humans and animals as well as the environment.

NGT chief Justice (retd) Swatanter Kumar has directed all states to stop the "manufacture, sale, storage, purchase and use" of manjha made of nylon, Chinese and cotton which is coated with glass.

In context

No more glass-coated manjha for flying kites
People killed every year during Independence Day, Makar Sankranti

Deaths

People killed every year during Independence Day, Makar Sankranti

There have been several incidents of people being decapitated due to glass-coated strings.

Just last year during Independence Day celebrations, there were at least three such deaths in Delhi alone: two kids who had stuck out their heads from their car's sunroof, and a youth riding a bike on a flyover.

Fifteen manjha deaths have been reported from Delhi, Rajasthan and UP during 2014-2016.

Problems

The people manufacturing it are also at high risk

According to the petition by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), birds are at even greater risk. Activists said in 2014, as many as 15 birds died during I-Day.

"(Glass-coated) strings act as good conductors of electricity," it added, posing risks to kite-flyers and passers-by.

Another factor was employment of children in manjha industry, who breathe in hazardous substances regularly.

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The complete ban came after an interim ban

In December, NGT had imposed an interim ban and asked the Manjha Association of India to submit a report to the Central Pollution Control Board. Now it has directed all states and UTs to "enforce prohibition on manufacture and use of synthetic manjha/nylon thread".

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