Safe Sankranthi: How Chinese manjha is killing birds and wild animals in Telangana

10:00 AM Jan 12, 2023 | Newsmeter Network

Telangana: Telangana forest department has cautioned people against using Chinese manjha for kite-flying during Sankranthi. The forest department has warned of legal action against people using nylon synthetic thread. Forest department said manjha poses a serious threat to the safety of animals, humans, and the environment.

Over the years, glass-coated nylon manjha has injured innumerable birds, animals, and humans. It has also caused serious slow and 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, and rooftops.

Improperly discarded manjha is known to cut the fingers, hands, and 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.

Why should we shun Chinese manjha?

National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a blanket ban on manjha or tread made of Nylon and any synthetic material. It has also banned thread coated with a synthetic substance that is non-biodegradable.

NGT has also prohibited the manufacture, sale, store, purchase, and use of synthetic manjha/nylon thread and all other similar synthetic thread used for kite flying.

In exercise of its powers under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, the Telangana government has 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, with effect from January 13, 2016.

Action taken by Telangana Forest Department

Telangana Forest Department in coordination with other Police, GHMC, Pollution Control Board, NGOs, and Wildlife Conservationists have launched a campaign explaining the harmful effects of Synthetic Manja. The department is distributing posters in Telugu, English, and Urdu and requesting shop owners, not to stock or sell the synthetic manjha.

During the festival season, Forest Department is deploying 5 to 6 mobile parties with uniformed staff and NGOs. They visit shops and ensure the implementation of the ban. To date, 1391 Kg of synthetic manjha valued at Rs.28 lakh has been seized.

Penalties for violations

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 the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 under section – 51 with imprisonment of 3 to 7 years and a fine not less than Rs.10,000/-. Causing injury or death to domestic animals attracts the provision of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.

Such cases may be reported to Telangana State Forest Department on the 24 x 7 helpline