Cuttack: In India, every time an accident occurs, the enforcement agencies are up from a slumber and come up with clarifications and follow-up action.
Only if precautions, preventives, and enforcement is taken up at the right time, effectively, the freak accidents can be prevented, and precious lives saved.
A case in point is the unfortunate and untimely death of a 31-year-old man, Jayant Samal who was killed by a glass-laced kite string on Sunday.
Samal was proceeding on Cuttack-Chandbali State highway on a motorcycle with his wife riding pillion. A mason from Bhairpur, Samal’s throat was slit with the ‘manja’ (glass-coated string) of a kite flown by a minor boy.
A day after the incident, series of raids were carried out by joint teams of Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) and Cuttack Urban Police and significant quantity of the banned manja was seized.
Deputy Commissioner, CMC, Abhinash Rout said, “In the past, a number of raids have been conducted and Manja strings have been seized. Following this casualty, the raids are on at Pithapur, Choudhury Bazar and other areas of the city where such strings are sold.”
Nylon and glass coated manja has been banned by the National Green Tribunal. The blanket ban was imposed in 2017, following which a petition was filed in the Supreme Court against the NGT’s decision. However, the Apex Court, in an order, declied to interfere with the NGT order that banned sale of such thread.
However, despite the ban imposed on manjas, fatal, and nearly fatal incidents continue to recur. There are many areas in Cuttack, where these banned glass-coated threads for flying kites are still being sold.
The craze among kite flyers for manjas and its sale begins during the winter and continues till mid January (Makar Sankranti). Areas in Nandi Sahi, Jhola Sahi, Choudhury Bazar and Pithapur are major areas where kite threads are sold.
Cuttack is not an exception. There are other places in the State where manjas are popular and its use leads to ‘incidents’. On Monday, a man sustained serious injuries after his neck was trapped in a kite string at Puri on Sunday evening.