Chennai: Just ahead of the season, police in Chennai have tightened laws on flying kites in the city.
Flying kites in residential areas is now a non-bailable offence. Considered dangerous to life and personal safety of others, the offence is punishable with a fine upto Rs 1,000 and imprisonment upto three months.
Use of manja (kite thread), which is coated with powdered glass, for flying kites anywhere in the city will earn a similar penalty. The law was made stricter after the use of manja caused serious injuries recently.
“In the last two months we have had six instances and two of them were seriously injured,” Joint Commissioner of Police, North Zone Chennai, SN Seshasai said.
Flying kites in public places in Chennai was banned in 2007 when a eight-year-old boy, Dasangir, died after being cut by a manja. But till now offenders could get away with a fine of just Rs 150.
In a city where kite flying is a crazy competition, the new rules are not likely to go down well with the citizens.
“Definitely they will not like it because it's a craze like cricket. Earlier, a few years back whenever there was a season of kite flying, cricket used to be down. Now because cricket is being promoted in such a big way, this has come down a little,” Siraj, a kite dealer, said.
The new law will also help the police to raid and arrest people selling manja.