By Nauman Tasleem
LAHORE: Pleasant weather and the government’s lenient attitude towards kite flyers have given citizens an opportunity to celebrate Basant again.
Kite enthusiasts started flying kites on Saturday afternoon and indulged themselves in the sport until late at night. Neither the police nor the City District Government Lahore (CDGL) took any action against the kite flyers. However, an official from the Punjab Police Department was of the view that people had been warned and were being nabbed for kite flying, while a CDGL official said the district government was helpless in taking action as no citizen lodged complaints against the people flying kites.
Nayyab Haider, Public Relations Officer to Operations Deputy Inspector General, said the police was taking stern action against kite flyers and had registered cases against the violators of the ban. However, when asked about the number of first information reports (FIRs) filed against kite flyers, he said, “Currently, there is no record, but we will collect it sooner or later.”
Instructions: CDGL Chief Public Relations Officer Nadeemul Hasan Gilani told Daily Times that the district government had issued stern instructions against kite flying. He said the citizens who found kites flying in their surroundings should contact the police. “Action can only be taken when there is a complaint,” Gilani said.
Punjab Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Taimur Azmat Usman said the Punjab government had instructed the city government to remain vigilant against kite flying.
On the other hand, the citizens immensely enjoyed mini-Basant due to the pleasant weather and the ideal conditions for kite flying. People from different areas of the city including Gulberg, Garden Town, Iqbal Town, Township, Mozang, Rehmanpura, Ichhra and the Walled City enjoyed their favourite sport.
Kite enthusiasts said it was a healthy activity and should be allowed. “Isn’t it good that the police is not taking action?” questioned Abdul Razaq, a kite flyer from Rehmanpura. Razaq said he did not use chemical-coated kite string and therefore his kite flying was not dangerous for others. “Banning the sport is not an option,” Razaq added.
Another kite flyer, Rana Riaz of the Walled City, said the police officials watched him flying kites but did not take action. Riaz said the government should designate certain venues for kite flying, as people would not be hurt nor would the sport be banned this way.
Sellers’ complaints: However, kite sellers across the city were not happy with the situation. They said people were flying kites but they were forbidden to sell kites and string. A kite seller, Rana Faisal said people were flying kites everywhere in the city and no action was being taken. “What is our fault that we are being stopped from selling kites?” he asked, adding that the government should address the concerns of the kite sellers and allow them to sell kites and string.