CIVIL

Makar Sankranti- RHC directed Pucca thread made of plastic or any such synthetic material of Chinese make is not used in kite flying

We direct the concerned authorities to ensure that Pucca thread made of plastic or any such synthetic material of Chinese make or other toxic materials like iron powder, glass powder etc., is not used in kite flying. Steps be also taken to ensure that sale of such material for the purpose of kite flying does not take place in the State of Rajasthan. Respondents also to ensure that requisite action is taken within a period of six weeks from today, due publicity should also be given, particularly before Makar Sankranti and sale of such banned materials should be stopped for the purpose of kite flying.

(2013) 1 CDR 527 : (2012) 33 RCR(Civil) 728 : (2013) 4 RLW 2845 : (2013) 1 WLC 693

RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT (JAIPUR BENCH)

DIVISION BENCH

( Before : Arun Mishra, C.J; Narendra Kumar Jain, J )

MAHESH AGRAWAL — Appellant

Vs.

STATE OF RAJASTHAN AND ANOTHER — Respondent

Civil Writ Petition (P.I.L.) No. 15793 of 2011

Decided on : 22-08-2012

Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 – Section 5
Counsel for Appearing Parties

Anudyuti Maitra, for the Appellant; G.S. Bapna, Advocate General (Sr. Counsel) Assisted by Mr. Veyankatesh Garg and Mr. S.C. Purohit, Additional Govt. Counsel, for the Respondent

ORDER

1. The writ petition has been preferred, by way of Public Interest Litigation, to issue appropriate writ, order or direction, in the nature of writ, for banning the sale and usage of artificial polyamide threads for flying kites in the city of Jaipur and the State of Rajasthan, specially on the festival of ‘Makar Sankranti’. It is also prayed that usage of nylon threads in flying the kites be declared illegal and may kindly be banned. Other writ, order or direction, as may be deemed fit, may also be issued. It is averred in the petition that multiple accidents are occurring by use of artificial nylon (polyamide) thread in kite flying in place of traditional cotton threads, which is much less harmful. Various kind of nylon threads are being used, specially on the festival of ‘Makar Sankranti’ to fly kites. Copies of test reports, conducted by the Government Laboratory, has been filed as Annexure-1 to the petition. Copies of newspaper reports showing accidents by use of nylon thread for kite flying have been collectively filed as Annexure-2 to the petition. Millions of kites are flown in a course of single day on the festival of ‘Makar Sankranti’ in Jaipur and for the last few years, polyamide threads are being used instead of cotton threads. Nylon threads are twice as strong as compared to cotton threads and do not break easily and are causing multiple accidents while passing through the hands of the flyers and the kites are coming in the way of moving persons, resulting severe life threatening cuts. Polyamide threads are not biodegradable and get struck in electric lines, transformers and public utility gadgets. Aforesaid threads accumulate in drains to clog them. Birds are also affected due to usage of aforesaid threads.

2. Reply has been filed on behalf of Police Commissioner. It has been prayed that the same may be treated as reply on behalf of the State of Rajasthan.

3. It is submitted in the reply that requisite directions have been issued under Sec. 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Similar directions have been issued by the State of Gujarat on 04.12.2009. Department of Environment, vide its letter dated 09.05.2012, was of the view that directions issued on 13.01.2012 prohibits use of plastic or any such synthetic material of Chinese make or other toxic materials like iron powder, glass powder etc., which is likely to cause injury to the birds as well as people and to ensure that the same is not used for kite flying. A copy of the letter dated 09.05.2012 has been filed as Annexure-R/2 to the reply. Issuance of aforesaid direction is in order to prohibit the use of nylon (polyamide) threads for kite flying and requisite directions have been issued by the respondents.

4. We appreciate the gesture of learned Advocate General in this case, who right from day one, has clearly stated that use of such kind of threads for the purpose of kite flying has to be stopped.

5. Directions dated 13.01.2012 have been placed on record as Annexure-R/1, they are as follows:–

GOVERNMENT OF RAJASTHAN

Department of Environment

No. F. 12(1)Env/2012

Jaipur, dated: 13-01-2012

Notice of Directions under Sec. 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

WHEREAS, it is observed that during the Kite Flying Festival (Makar Sankranti), a lot of injuries caused to the people and birds on account of Pucca Thread made out of plastic of similar such synthetic material or other toxic materials like iron powder, glass powder etc.

AND Whereas, it is a well known fact that the activity of the birds is at the peaks during 6.00 am to 8.00 am in morning and from 5.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. in evening.

AND whereas, it is also desirable to protect the people from the fatal effects of the kite thread made out of toxic material such as glass powder, iron powder etc. or plastic or synthetic thread of Chinese make.

AND whereas, it is also desirable to protect to innocent birds including the Vulture which are getting extinct day by day and classified as endangered species and need to conserve them.

You are therefore directed under Sec. 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 to take necessary measures and actions including mass awareness programmes to sensitize the people as follows:

1. The Pucca thread made of plastic of any such synthetic material of Chinese make or other toxic materials like iron powder, glass powder etc. which is likely to cause injury to the birds as well as the people is not used for kite flying.

2. To ensure that kite flying between 6.00 am to 8.00 am in the morning and 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm in evening during these days is avoided.

(M.S. Tewari)

Director cum Deputy

Secretary, Environment

To,

All District Collectors,

All Municipal Commissioners, Municipal Corporation/Executive Officers, Municipal Council & Municipalities.

Annexure-R/2 is the communication dated 09.05.2012, relevant portion of which is quoted below:–

With reference to the subjected and your letter cited above, I am directed to say that the operative portion of the direction issued under Sec. 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 are as under:–

You are therefore directed under Sec. 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 to take necessary measures and actions including mass awareness programmes to sensitize the people as follows:

1. The Pucca thread made of plastic or any such synthetic material of Chinese make or other toxic materials like iron powder, glass powder etc. which is likely to cause injury to the birds as well as the people is not used for kite flying.

2. To ensure that kite flying between 6.00 am to 8.00 am in the morning and 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm in evening during these days is avoided.

In the first direction the concerned authorities have been directed to take such measures which ensure that ‘the Pucca thread made of plastic or any such synthetic material of Chinese make or other toxic materials like iron powder, glass powder etc. which is likely to cause injury to the birds as well as the people is not used for kite flying.’ The measure includes sensitization of the masses also. Obviously, this direction prohibits the use of plastic or any such synthetic material of Chinese make or other toxic materials like iron powder, glass powder etc. which is likely to cause injury to the birds as well as the people, for flying the kites.

6. It has been made clear that concerned authorities have been directed to take such measures which ensure that the Pucca thread made of plastic or any such synthetic material of Chinese make or other toxic materials like iron powder, glass powder etc. which is likely to cause injury to the birds as well as the people is not used for kite flying. The measure includes sensitization of the masses also. It has also been mentioned that obviously, the direction prohibits the use of plastic or any such synthetic material of Chinese make or other toxic materials like iron powder, glass powder etc. which is likely to cause injury to the birds as well as the people, for flying the kites.

7. In view of aforesaid stand and as submitted fairly before us by learned Advocate General, that prohibitory directions be issued to the concerned authorities and meaning of the communication dated 13.01.2012 is clear and even otherwise, this Court may direct the concerned authorities to restrain use of Pucca thread made of plastic or any such synthetic material of Chinese make or other toxic materials like iron powder, glass powder etc.

8. In view of aforesaid, considering the public interest and aforesaid various aspects and factual matrix of the matter, we direct the concerned authorities to ensure that Pucca thread made of plastic or any such synthetic material of Chinese make or other toxic materials like iron powder, glass powder etc., is not used in kite flying. Steps be also taken to ensure that sale of such material for the purpose of kite flying does not take place in the State of Rajasthan. Respondents also to ensure that requisite action is taken within a period of six weeks from today, due publicity should also be given, particularly before Makar Sankranti and sale of such banned materials should be stopped for the purpose of kite flying.

9. Accordingly, the writ petition is allowed. Let a copy of order be sent to all the District Collectors for issuing necessary orders for compliance.

Final Result : Allowed

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