Kite-flying ban effective from today
By Amir Nafees
LAHORE: Lahore District Nazim Mian Amir Mehmood on Monday formally announced a three-month ban on kite-flying with effect from July 1.
Addressing a crowded press conference at his office, Mr Mehmood said the ban, implemented under Section 142 of the Punjab Local Government Ordinance 2001, included not just flying kites, but also all business related to kite-flying.
The nazim said representatives of the city district government would be available at 111-008-888 at the LESCO head office on Nicholson Road to redress public complaints. He said complaints about the police misusing its powers in implementing the ban could be made at the same number.
Asked how the ban could be implemented over three months when the city government is only authorised to impose Section 144 for two days, Mr Mehmood said the Home Department had assured his government the ban would be followed for all three months.
He said the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA), kite-flying associations and the district government all agreed that the ban was a good idea. In a meeting, they had also agreed to tackle gambling on kite-flying competitions.
Mr Mehmood said the people of Lahore appreciated the reasoning behind the ban and his administration was getting a healthy response from the public. Mr Mehmood said kite-flying had become increasingly popular and thread from stray kites was a serious threat to pedestrians and cyclists.
He said WAPDA authorities claim losses of Rs 2.5 billion a year because of kite-flying. “Apart from this loss, it would be hard to estimate the damage done to home electronic appliances everyday because of power cuts,” he added.
Mr Mehmood said the district government would launch an awareness campaign to educate the public about the dangers of the sport. Seminars, panel discussions and public debates are to be part of this awareness campaign.
Asked about the fines and other punishments, he said there were two options: “Either we will hold violators under Section 144 of the PPC or under powers provided by the local bodies ordinance,” he said.
“It is necessary to punish rule-breakers, because when someone gets punished others will hesitate to break the law,” he said, adding that the law was in the larger interest of the people, so he expected the general public to uphold it.
Mr Mehmood said the sale of door (thread used for kite-flying), metal wires and all types of kites would also be banned. “Shopkeepers will have to close their shops for at least three months.”
He said the district government had yet to decide upon a plan for the employment of people in the kite business, but urged them to cooperate with the government.
The text of the district govt orders runs as follows: “Mian Amir Mehmood while exercising the powers conferred upon him under Section 142 of the Punjab Local Government Ordinance 2001, hereby authorises all officers of the Lahore city district government of BS-16 and above of the Social Welfare, Revenue, Solid Waste Management and Labour departments to proceed under Section 143 of the Local Government Ordinance in respect of their departments and jurisdiction and to deal with all cases under Clause 2, 20 of part I, Clause 33, 34, 41 and 42 of Part II, Clause 78, 80 of Part III of fourth schedule of the said ordinance and
a) To issue legal notices on behalf of the respective administration for violation or commission of above mentioned offence under this ordinance.
b) To take such measures and action for compliance of direction contained in the notice issued, restraining violations or commission of any offence under this ordinance, rules or byelaws etc.
c) To initiate legal proceedings, defend any legal proceedings initiated against the local government, attend court proceedings and represent the city government.
The above mentioned officers so authorised may on their own motion or on the complaint of any effected citizens institute any suit or initiate prosecution or any other legal action against a person committing aforesaid offences under this ordinance.”