Rashmi Rekha Das

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been moved in the Orissa High Court seeking a direction to the Odisha government to impose restrictions on kite flying in the twin cities ahead of Hockey World Cup.

Besides, the petition has sought a ban on use of manja (glass coated) string and plastic strings for flying kites in view of the sports extravaganza. 

Use of plastic and nylon threads in flying of kites had led to several mishaps over past couple of years.

Places in the city like Bali Yatra ground, Bidanasi ground, Sunshine ground, Kathajodi riverbed, Khannagar park, Potapokhari, Panhamukhi Hanuman temple ground at Khannagar usually witness mass kite flying during winter season especially on the day of Makar Sankranti. 

And the sharp manja strings have often proved fatal for humans as well as birds in the previous years. Keeping this in mind, the petitioner filed a PIL in a bid to avoid occurrence of such mishaps especially during the Hockey World Cup.

Taking strong note of a string of incidents involving death and injury caused to humans and birds by sharp kite strings, the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) had banned the use and sale of Chinese Manja and glass coated strings for flying of kites as part of Makar Sankranti celebrations in 2021.

It is noteworthy to mention that manja is prepared from a mixture of adhesive with glass splinters. Later, a coating of this mixture is applied to the thread. This manja thread is used to easily cut the ordinary thread of other kites during competitions held on Makar Sankranti day. But this thread will cause bleeding injuries if the glass splinters brushes the body of a person.