Hyderabad Metro attaches strings to kite-flying this year

People near Metro lines must desist from Chinese manja.

Hyderabad: Kite-flyers near the 30-km Metro Rail corridor from Nagole to Miyapur have been asked to be careful this season. Metro Rail zips past on a 25-kv electric line; and kite-flyers need to do their spadework before buying the accessories.

Mr N.V.S. Reddy, Metro Rail MD, has called upon kite-flyers to go for the normal manja. After watching the initial response, Metro Rail will take a decision accordingly, he said, and added that other manjas can even harm the birds, too.

There are different types of manjas made of cotton and nylon threads and plastic also known as the Chinese manja which is banned in Telangana. When the kite-flyer loses control due to heavy wind, the normal thread breaks easily but that is not the case with the plastic manjas.

The strings can get entangled in power lines and trees. Families staying along the Metro route are advised to buy the normal thread instead of fancy threads for kites.

Rajender Singh from Begum Bazaar, whose family is into selling kites for the last 85 years, warned about the plastic manja, which he termed fatal. “Some plastic manjas have iron powder coating that can act as a conductor if they fall on power cables,” he said.

“People flying kites along Metro Rail route have to avoid any kind of plastic manjas. The government has imposed a ban on the Chinese manja, but it has to be strictly implemented,” he said.

Mr Kotha Srinivas of Kohinoor Kite Club from Hyderabad stated that people buying kite accessories do not have an idea about the raw materials used in making them.

“People ask shopkeepers for strong manjas. It is better for kite-flyers on the Metro Rail route to go for the regular manja, made of cotton,” he said. The Metro Rail maintenance team has to keep a close watch to check if the kite strings are entangled with power cables.

Campaign against use of Chinese Manja

Ahead of Sankranti, bird-lovers have started creating awareness against the use of the Chinese manja for flying kites. Though the state government banned it last year, it is still available in Hyderabad.

Made up of nylon and coated with glass, the Chinese manja is durable and hits the wings of birds, leaving them fatally injured. The leftover manja on the trees also poses a threat to birds, activists said.

Alokparna Sengupta, deputy director of Human Society International, an animal protection group, said, “The ban is applicable on the use of other synthetic (non-biodegradable) threads coated with glass and other harmful substances, which have the potential to cause injuries to birds. We hope the government will keep a strict vigil on this.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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