The love for Chinese manjha among kite enthusiasts in Lucknow has become a major hurdle for the Uttar Pradesh Metro with over 500 disruptions recorded in three years due to the banned strings, the transporter said here.
The banned Chinese kite strings have traces of metals which damages the overhead electrification (OHE) system of the Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRC), causing disruption in services.
“Despite stringent appeals by the corporation to people not to fly kites near the metro corridor, there have been incidents of damaging of overhead wire from the Chinese manjha due to which passenger services of the metro were disrupted,” a senior UPMRC officer said.
On Monday, the OHE line near the Lucknow University metro station tripped because of Chinese manjha around 8.30 pm, and services were briefly interrupted, he added.
Services were restored by diverting the metro to the second line. An FIR has been lodged at the Mahanagar police station, the officer said.
In the past three years, 508 such cases have been registered against persons flying kites using Chinese manjha near the metro tracks.
Under the Metro Railway Act, 2002, there is a provision of 10 years’ imprisonment for damage to metro property and that too without a warrant, the officer said.
“It is very important to understand that even when the metro trains are not operating on the corridor or the passenger services are stopped (from 10 pm to 6 am), the wires of overhead electrification are charged and electric current is present,” he said.
“Chinese manjha is a conductor of electricity due to presence of metal in it. Some also use copper wires as well as barbed metal wires for kite flying. These methods of kite-flying can cause severe injury to the throats and eyes of passersby and affect the lives of animals and birds,” the official added.
The OHE line of the metro supplies electricity to a voltage of 25,000 volts or 25 kV, which can fatally electrocute a kite-flyer.
In November 2015, the Allahabad High Court had banned the sale of Chinese manjha in Uttar Pradesh.
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