Kulhad Chai to Replace Plastic Cups in Railway Stations Across India

The Minister of Railways, Shri. Piyush Goyal stated that nearly 400 railway stations in India serve tea in ‘Kulhad’ and the Indian Railways plan to sell tea only in kulhads in every railway station across the country. ‘Kulhad’ is an eco-friendly earthen cup used to serve tea. The Indian Railways plan to replace the plastic cups at all railway stations to kulhads for the promotion of an environmentally-friendly India that is plastic-free.

The Railway Minister addressed the event which marks the inauguration of the newly electrified Dhigawara-Bandikui railway station. While addressing this event, the Railway Minister said that lakhs of people would get employment from selling tea in kulhads, and it also saves the environment. The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) obtained orders to provide equipment for large scale production of kulhads a few months ago. The pottery industry will also benefit from selling tea in kulhads.

Kulhads in railway stations was introduced in 2014 by the then Union Railways Minister, Shri. Lalu Prasad Yadav. The introduction of kulhads was to keep the stations clean and provide employment to the kulhad manufacturers. Gradually, due to the high cost of kulhads, there was the replacement of kulhads to plastic cups. In 2019, the then Union MSME Minister, Shri. Nitin Gadkari urged Shri. Piyush Goyal for making kulhad chai mandatory at 100 railway stations. He also suggested making kulhad mandatory in tea stalls of airports.

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The North Western Railway Zone has sent directions to its officers for implementing measures to ensure the usage of green catering products at Indian Railway Stations. With the implementation of this direction, 25 more railway stations will serve tea and other food items in eco-friendly plates or bowls and kulhads. Currently, the railway stations of RaeBareli and Varanasi already use terracotta products for catering purposes.

At the inauguration event, Shri. Piyush Goyal also stated that the electrification of the railway lines in India would protect the environment as the operation of the engines will be from the electricity produced in the country. It will save money, fuel and time as there will be an increase in the speed of the trains. The farmers will also gain benefit from this as they can transport their crops in less time to any part of the country. 

Using kulhads to serve tea instead of plastic cups at all the railway stations will save the environment. The production of kulhads will benefit the pottery industry and the small scale industries which produce it. It will, in turn, help to generate employment for many. Thus, this move to replace kulhad chai in place of plastic/paper cups benefits in saving the environment, increasing the production in small scale industries and generating employment. 

For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, please contact the writer at mayashree.acharya@cleartax.in

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