Islamabad administration on Monday banned kite and pigeon flying to protect lives of the people and to keep the skies clear for fighter jets rehearsing for the Pakistan Day parade.
Two separate notifications issued by Additional District Magistrate Abdul Sattar Isani banned kite and pigeon flying for two months in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
Only in letter : Kite-flying ban not implemented
The notifications issued under Section 144 came into force at once.
Manufacturing and selling kites and kite flying strings have also been prohibited.
The notification said that the activity created “danger to human life and safety of the general public”.
It also told the owners and occupants of all buildings not to allow use of their building for kite flying.
“Certain sections of public indulge in pigeon flying which would create danger to the fighter planes flying during the rehearsals /fly-past on Pakistan Day parade to be held on 23rd March,” said the second notification.
The ban has received mixed public response.
While some welcomed the measure, other said banning kite flying was not the solution.
They said the authorities should take steps to make the activity unharmful, like designating public places for kite flying and curbing the use of strings dangerous for humans and animals.
Abdul Moeez, a resident of Sector I-8, welcomed the step and said the sport should be banned altogether.
Rehan Satti, another local, said the civic authorities should designate a day and specific open spaces for kite flying festival.
Further, he said use of sharp copper and chemical wire should be prohibited.
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A total of nine persons have suffered injuries caused by use of kite flying string in the capital over the past one week, authorities said.
Meanwhile, in Rawalpindi too, authorities are taking action against manufacture and sale of kites and kite flying.
Police have warned the public against taking part in the kite flying festival (basant), which falls on March 4.
Police have decided to take action against parents of the children who are caught flying kites.
City Police Officer Israr Ahmed Abbasi held a meeting with all the DSPs and SHOs of the district to chalk out a plan to curb the sport.
Police said a comprehensive plan had been prepared to curb the activity as it posed risks to public life.
Police force would be deployed to implement the ban in urban as well as rural areas, they said.
The CPO directed all officials to launch a crackdown against manufacturers and sellers of kites and strings.
Police said cases would be registered against the parents of violators and also against those who would allow use of their buildings for the activity, under the Punjab Prohibition of Kite Flying Act.
Notwithstanding the official ban, the activity is picking up and many shopkeepers are selling kites and strings. Police said Gawalmandi and Gunjmandi had become hub of the kite business.
Abbasi, when contacted said police would take legal action against fathers and elder brothers of young boys who violated the ban on kite flying.
He said special squads had been constituted to patrol the city adding action would be taken against the SHOs if the ban was violated in their jurisdictions.
Asked, who had announced to celebrate basant on March 4, Abbasi replied the police found the announcement on Facebook.
He said police were working to trace the persons who had announced on the social media to celebrate the festival in the city.
On the other hand, police seized 5,384 kites and 157 rolls of string and also arrested 19 persons for either selling or flying kites on Monday.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2016.
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