Hyderabad: With the approach of the harvest festival Sankranti — that is also the kite flying festival in the state — the forest department has called on the people to “let the birds fly along with the kites”.
The allusion is to the use of the synthetic fibre ‘Chinese manja’ that has proved fatal for humans as well as for birds. During the last kite flying season, four people lost their lives in the country because of injuries suffered due to the manja, the forest department told a meeting of representatives from voluntary organisations here on Tuesday.
Taking a tough stand, the department said that those who sell the manja and those who use it to fly kites are liable to be prosecuted and face stiff punishments and fines under the environmental protection and wildlife protection Acts. Principal chief conservator of forests R. Shobha said use of Chinese manja was prohibited as per the 2017 directive of the NGT.
According to additional principal chief conservator of forests (administration) Munindra (who uses a single name), the department wants to create awareness among school children about the dangers of Chinese manja, using the help of voluntary organisations, and the police department for enforcing the ban.
The penalties for either storing, selling or using the manja can include imprisonment up to five years and fine up `1 lakh or both under the Environmental Protection Act, 1986. The penalty for injuring and killing wild animals and birds under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 can be imprisonment from three to seven years and a fine of not less than `10,000, Munindra said....