Vadodara shops shun killer kite thread

Written by Gopal Kateshiya | Gopal Kateshiya | Vadodara | Updated: Jan 10 2013, 23:25pm hrs
It seems the government ban and efforts of NGOs have persuaded retailers of the city against selling Chinese thread for flying kites as it is not available in the market with four days to go before Uttrayan, the kite festival.

There are few sellers of the Chinese thread in Chokhandi, the biggest kite market of the city, in Navapura, another market in old city area, in Raopura market or near Nyay Mandir.

I know, it has been banned by the government and stocking or selling it may land us in police net. Honestly speaking, few have demanded the thread this season since people have realised it can cause serious accidents and kill birds, said Hanifbhai, a kite thread seller in Chokhandi.

Harshida Patel of N T Patel Store near Nayay Mandir said, We have never dealt in the Chinese thread since it is dangerous for birds and also banned by government.

However, a retailer in a corner of a busy area accepted he had some stock of the banned thread and that he was willing to sell at premium rates.

Environmentalists say, the Chinese thread is made of plastic and hence very strong. But this very strong proves fatal for birds which hit it or get entangled in it. There have been incidents of dangling Chinese threads causing serious injuries to motorcyclists also.

While more than 100 cases of birds getting injured or killed due to kite threads were reported in the city last Uttrayan. In Ahmedabad, according to Chief Conservator of Forest (Social Forestry), Ahmedabad, Jagdish Prasad, 1,629 cases of injury or deaths of birds were reported.

Not only this, the Chinese thread has also been a headache for Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation Limited (GETCO), the power transmission company of the state.

On the day of Uttrayan, incidents of line tripping double as compared to normal days. In most of cases, Chinese thread is the culprit as it is a conductor of electricity, said Narendrasinh Solanki, superintending engineer (transmission) of GETCO.

The company has already issued advertisements in local newspapers here appealing people not to fly kites with the Chinese thread.

Like every year, the environment and forest department of the state government issued a notification last month banning stocking, selling or purchasing of Chinese thread in the state.

Chinese kites a hit

Chinese thread might have gone off the shelves but Chinese kites have made their entry in the city this season. Chinese balloons which have been around for last few years are a hit this time round. But Chinese kites shaped like a flying kite (the bird) are very popular among children, said kite vendors. Rockets, Tigers, Angry Birds and Fairy are other new items.

These kites are made of synthetic material and they can be folded to carry. So, they are selling well, said Mahendra Prajapati, a kite seller in Raopura area of the city.