Soon, your favourite cup of tea may be served in eco-friendly 'kulhads' across all major railway stations, stalls at bus depots, airports and malls across the country, with Union Transport and MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari writing to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in this regard.
Currently, caterers at two railway stations, Varanasi and Rae Bareli, use terracotta-made 'kulhads', glasses and plates.
"I have written a letter to Piyush Goyal to make use of kulhad mandatory at 100 railway stations and also suggested airports and state transport undertakings having tea stalls at bus depots to make the use of kulhads mandatory. We will also encourage malls to have kulhad tea stalls," Gadkari said.
The Minister for Road Transport & Highways and MSME said the move is expected to provide a huge market for local potters and also help conserve the environment by eliminating the use of paper and plastics to serve beverages.
Gadkari said he has also instructed the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) to supply equipment for large-scale production of kulhads as their demand increases. "We distributed 10,000 electric wheels to potters for making kulhads last year. This year, we have set a target of distributing 25,000 electric wheels," KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena told PTI.
Under the Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana, the government has been distributing electric wheels to potters to increase their productivity.
In 2004, then railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav had introduced 'kulhads' to boost the pottery industry and also give passengers a taste of eco-friendly cups. He had made it clear that hot beverages should be served only in 'kulhads'.