New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday called for a country-wide ban on “Chinese manjha", a string used in kite flying.

“There shall be a total ban on the manjha or thread for kite flying which is made of nylon or any synthetic material and or is coated with synthetic substance and is non-biodegradable," said an NGT bench headed by chairperson justice Swatanter Kumar.

In a 113-page order on Tuesday, the NGT directed state governments to enforce the directive.

The judgement described Chinese manjha as one that is made of synthetic material/yarn in place of cotton and has a coating of material that can cut the skin of animals and human beings. Such string is also a good conductor of electricity, resulting in many accidents from it getting snarled up in high-tension electricity lines.

The bench noted that tradition of kite-flying is deep-rooted in India and has become a part of various festivals. But the use of Chinese manjha has not only resulted in injuries to birds, animals and human beings, but also caused fatal accidents.

Environmentalists welcomed the move.

“This prohibition on the use of synthetic and nylon manja is a life-saving step and now we must press on until all dangerous manjha is banned. Particularly worrying is glass-coated manjha which has caused injuries and deaths of children, birds and others and so must also be banned,",said Nikunj Sharma, lead, public policy, at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an NGO working on issues related to animal welfare.

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