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Manja made out of synthetic material, also known as Chinese manja or tangus, continues to be sold in Hyderabad openly this Sankrathi at small and large kite stores across the city, despite ban imposed on the product by National Green Tribunal last year.

Panneeru Pridhvi, an animal rescuer in the city said, “I received five calls of birds stuck in manja on Sunday. All of them were found to be stuck in Chinese manja and died before I could reach the spot and rescue the birds. As the Chinese manja is made of plastic, it becomes impossible for the birds stuck in them to break free.”

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Mahesh Agarwal of Bharatiya Prani Mitra Sangh said, “In the months of November-December last year, stocks of Chiense manja arrived in the city from Chennai port. There are about 22 main dealers of the product in Hyderabad who further supply it to retailers across the city.

We had informed about it to the forest department but still the Chinese manja is seen being openly sold in the city.” However, officials of the forest department claimed that a majority of the kite shop owners in Hyderabad adhered to the ban. The officials said that till Sunday they conducted raids in about 200 kite stores and found that none of them were in possession of Chinese manja.

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Last year during Sankranthi, there were regular seizures of Chinese manja by the forest department’s anti-poaching squad. Some of the animal rights activists in the city also felt that the ban on Chinese manja has had some positive effect in the city as compared to previous years. Dattatraya Joshi of People for Animals said, “There has been a visible change in Hyderabad.

The number of shops selling Chinese manja this year is lower than earlier due to raids by forest department officials.” Pradeep Nair, an animal rescuer from the city said, “This year the number of rescued we had to conduct to rescue birds stuck in manja has come down as compared to last two years.” #KhabarLive

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