The traffic police have proposed to put up nets, view-cutters or wire fence up to a height of 4 ft above the guard rail on the southern flank of the Maa flyover to cut down on chances of injuries to bikers by the alloy-coated strings used to fly kites from nearby buildings. They are also considering to distribute non-alloy strings in the Park Circus-Beniapukur belt, besides carrying out regular raids to seize the banned alloy-manja-coated strings.
Following the spate of accidents on Maa flyover, in which kite strings had injured bikers, slashing their faces, throat, and even jugular veins, trachea and larynx, multiple traffic guards started looking for practical solutions and forwarded the proposals to the KMDA through Lalbazar. “Even as cops from the local police stations patrol the area, it is difficult to predict when such an accident would take place. We need to raise the barriers so that the strings would not directly reach the bikers and would not be as taut to cause critical injuries,” said an officer. The severity of an injury did not depend on the thickness of the string or the size of the kite, said an officer, adding that it was the use of glass and glue in the manja that increased the potential cutting surface of the string, turning a simple game into a deadly activity.
The cops said that their earlier campaign against the use of the banned string, which ended ahead of Viswakarma Puja, did cut down on the number of accidents but some still occurred. “We get reports of kites being flown with such strings near the Maa flyover. We have started a search of the nearby places to track those selling the illegal Chinese-made manjas. So far, we have not been able to trace those who possess them. We are checking if they are being sold in the Karaya-Park Circus belt from outside our police station areas,” said an officer. The authorities have also started campaigning at local schools, teaching the kids about precautionary steps, including choosing a safe location, such as an open field with a diameter of at least 100m, and keeping a safe distance from telephone lines, cables, trees, roads, cars, flyovers, people and animals.
The police, however, pointed out that there could not be a clear-cut demarcation of place from where kites could be flown near the flyover. “We have seen that strings can reach the Maa flyover from as far as Beniapukur. So, the plan is to increase awareness. Vulnerable points will also be identified,” said a senior IPS officer.
High court advocate Jayanta Samanta, whose daughter Jyamini suffered a critical injury in a similar accident, has moved a PIL against the use of the string. “The area between Park Circus Seven Points (MV Nursing Home) and Number 4 rail bridge is the most vulnerable. I had even clicked pictures of kites being flown there a day after my daughter was hospitalized,” Samanta said.
Source: Times of India