Cassian Baliarsingh

As the winter chill slowly retreats and gives way to the gentle warmth of the sun, it’s time to celebrate the vibrant festival of Makar Sankranti. Embraced with great pomp and show, Makar Sankranti marks the onset of longer, brighter days.

Makar Sankranti is not just a festival; it is a joyous occasion that gives the thrill of kite-flying, creates an atmosphere of joy and cultural richness, brings communities together, and fosters a spirit of unity. 

However, the use of Chinese ‘manja’ and plastic strings has become a matter of serious concern for two-wheeler drivers and birds. With just one day left for the annual festival, Cuttack Police tightened its grip around the illegal sale of ‘plastic’ and Chinese ‘manja’ strings that are being used to fly kites.

Restrictions have been strictly clamped on flying kites using manja threads. This has been done in view to prevent the loss of lives of people, especially commuters on roads and birds from the deadly manja and plastic strings used for kite flying on Makar Sankranti.

Strict action would be taken against those flying kites using the Chinese manja threads, informed Cuttack Additional DCP Anil Mishra. 

“Yes, the festival of kite flying has already begun. So, we have directed all police officials of prominent places like Purighat, Lalbag, Badambadi, and other places to raid the units and shops where the ‘manja’ threads are being sold. Last year, also we had raided and we have a list of such sellers,” said Mishra.

Mishra further said, “This year too, senior officials have been directed to keep a close watch of those selling illegal Chinese ‘manja’ threads. Strict action as per law will also be taken against those who are found flying kites with such threads.”

“We have been flying kites since our childhood. It is Makar Sankranti and people will definitely fly kites. Veteran singer Akshay Mohanty also composed and sang songs of kites and became world famous. However, people should be made aware that they should not use metal mixed manja or plastic threads as it can claim a lot of lives,” a local resident Amarendra Mohapatra said.

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