New Delhi, Aug 16: A day after kite strings claimed three lives in the national capital, the Delhi government today imposed a ban on the sale, production and storage of glass-coated threads or Chinese manja even as a blame game erupted with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia claiming the Environment Secretary took seven days to clear a notification.
According to the draft notification issued by Environment Secretary Chandraker Bharti, kite flying will be permissible only with a cotton thread and natural fibre free from any metallic and glass components.
Violation of directions will be punishable with an imprisonment of up to five years or fine which may be extended to Rs 1 lakh or with both.
However, sources in the LG office said the Lt Governor had approved the draft notification on August 8 and sent it back to the government the next day. The AAP government delayed issuance of the draft notification despite the fact that the LG office had sent the notification with his approval to Environment Department on August 9, they said, adding that notification may not make a good impact as the flying kite season is almost over with the wrapping up of Independence Day celebrations.
Sisodia said he was writing to Lt Governor Najeeb Jung seeking action against the Environment Secretary for "gross negligence in duty and insensitiveness in Chinese manja case".
"Environment Secretary took 7days to issue notification though file was cleared by my & Env Minster's office within minutes on 9th August," the Deputy CM tweeted. A government official said as the LG is in-charge of the Services Department, he should seek clarification for the delay from the officer concerned.
Environment Department of Delhi government has sought public suggestions and objections on its draft notification asking them to file the same within 60 days and thereafter, a final notification will be issued.
"There shall be complete ban on the sale, production, storage, supply and use of nylon, plastic and Chinese manja and any other kite-flying thread that is sharp or made sharp such as by being laced with glass, metal or other sharp objects in National Capital Territory of Delhi," the notification stated.
Yesterday, three-year-old Saanchi Goyal, who was returning with her parents after watching a movie, was killed after a stray kite string slashed her neck in Rani Bagh area when she was looking out of open sunroof in their car.
A four-and-a-half-year-old boy and a 22-year-old man also died after their necks got slit while a Delhi Police sub- inspector was injured in such incidents. "During kite flying, a lot of injury is caused to the people and birds on account of pucca thread made out of plastic or similar such synthetic material commonly known as Chinese thread.
These injuries many a times turn out to be fatal causing death of people and birds. "It is, therefore, desirable to protect the people and birds from the fatal effects of the kite thread made out of plastic or synthetic thread as Chinese thread," notification also said.
On August 11, the Delhi High Court had asked the AAP government and the civic bodies to issue advisory ahead of Independence Day making the public aware of fatal effect of the use of razor sharp kite-flying threads.