Bengaluru: Scooterist’s neck slit by Chinese manja near Adugodi | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: The banned Chinese manja, a deadly bird killer, is now a threat to road users too, as scooter-borne Bengaluru entrepreneur Mallikarjuna KH realised on Wednesday afternoon. His neck got entangled in the kite thread hanging across the road near Adugodi traffic police station and he suffered a deep gash that required 15 stitches.
Mallikarjuna, 48, who runs a software development and training business and is a resident of Wilson Garden, rode into the manja thread that encircled his neck around 1.30pm. Realising his life was in danger, he tugged at it with his left hand but his fingers got badly cut.
Mallikarjuna, who got five stitches each on two fingers and five stitches on his neck, told TOI he survived only because he was riding slowly. “It was really scary. Due to Covid-19 fears, there was not much traffic. The thread could have harmed more than two or three persons if there was usual traffic,” he said. Mallikarjuna said a child on the scooter could have even been killed. “The government must implement the ban sternly,” he added..
Deputy Conservator of Forest HS Ranganatha Swamy told TOI he has directed forest staff to go to shops selling the manja and book police cases. He’ll request BBMP chief commissioner to depute marshals to curb the menace. BBMP chief commissioner Gaurav Gupta said he’ll instruct officials to take action against those selling manja.
Bird killer

Every year, hundreds of birds die because due to Chinese manja, especially during the kite-flying season. A senior officer in the BBMP forest cell said they get at least 40 distress calls every day to rescue birds caught in kite threads and 80% are Chinese manja. “Birds trying to escape often get killed,” he said.
According to city-based People for Animals’ Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Centre, there’s been an over 72% rise in number of bird rescues due to entanglement in Chinese manja in 2020 (177) compared to 2019 (102 rescues). Chinese manjas come with powdered glass/ metal coating, giving them a sharp edge. Melissa Arulappan, a resident of Richards Town, said during the kite-flying season, it’s common to see stranded kites dangling from trees and poles. “There’d be at least 2-3 threads hanging on our terrace and we have to be very cautious,” she added.
Bird rescuers said despite the ban, the demand for manja has increased over the years as it costs less than other threads and is lightweight.
Bird rescuer Rajesh Kumar said, “While the National Green Tribunal banned it in 2016, the state government banned it in 2017. The demand is higher because Chinese manja costs Rs 3 per metre, while the cotton one costs three times that. There needs to be a stricter implementation of the law.”

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Sagar Biswas

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