January 13, 2016
Telangana State Bans Chinese Manja on the Eve of Sankranti
The Government of Telangana, on the eve of Sankranti, has banned the procuring, stocking, sale and use of nylon manja, also known as Chinese manja. Humane Society International/India, who has been rigorously campaigning for the ban on Chinese manja with the support of the Telangana Forest Department and Telangana State Biodiversity Board, welcomed the move. Invoking the powers conferred to it under section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, the Government has imposed the ban on all harmful substances used for kite flying.
Mr. P.K. Sharma, PCCF (WL), Telangana Forest Department, said, “We are glad that the Telangana State Government has taken a serious note of the problem with Chinese manja and issued the ban. This ban will go a long way in ensuring that this lethal, toxic and non-biodegradable manja will no longer harm birds, humans and the environment.”
Made up of nylon and coated with glass, Chinese manja is extremely durable, sharp and easily cuts through the wings of birds, leaving most injured birds to suffer and die. Since manja is often leftover on trees, poles and rooftops after Sankranti, it continues to pose a threat to animal and human lives. With this order, the Telangana Government has now joined the growing league of states that have taken strict action against the harmful glass-coated, nylon manja.
Dr. C. Suvarna, member secretary, Telangana State Bio-Diversity Board, said, “We could succeed in getting the ban but everyone needs to act for implementing the government order. More and more awareness has to be built urgently since the festival is just two days away.”
C. Samyukta, wildlife campaign manager for HSI/India, said, “We are delighted at this order from the Telangana State Government and shall now work to see it implemented in letter and spirit. We thank the Government of Telangana State especially the involvement of the Telangana State Forest Department, Telangana State Biodiversity Board and the Telangana State Pollution Control Board without whom this would not have been possible. This is a giant leap forward for the Sankranti celebration, and we’re very pleased at their effort to have a cruelty free festival.”
HSI/India plans to coordinate with local enforcement agencies and other NGOs to ensure that no Chinese manja is sold or used in the coming days. The Telangana Forest Department has also made available its toll free helpline number, 1800-425-5364, for anyone wishing to report birds trapped or injured by manja.
- Since early 2015, HSI/India has been working in collaboration with the Telangana State Forest Department and other local animal welfare organizations to persuade the government of Telangana to act against the sale and use of Chinese manja.
- In 2015, representatives from the Telangana Forest Department and HSI/India along with volunteers from Blue Cross of Hyderabad and People for Animals, Hyderabad conducted an awareness drive against the ill-effects of manja in the Charminar and Dhoolpeth areas.
- The Telangana State Biodiversity Board and the Telangana State Pollution Control Board sent letters to the Government of Telangana’s secretary for the Department of Environment, Forest, Science and Technology, recommending a ban.
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