NEW DELHI: Tea and coffee in eco-friendly ' kulhad ' will be back at railway stations in a big way. These will even be used to sell tea and coffee at bus terminals, airports and malls.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari said he had urged his cabinet colleague Piyush Goyal to make kulhads mandatory at 100 railway stations. "I have also suggested that airports and state transport undertakings having tea stalls at bus depots should make the use of kulhads mandatory. We will also encourage malls to have kulhad tea stalls," Gadkari, who is in-charge of micro, small and medium enterprises ministry, said.
Currently, caterers at two railway stations, Varanasi and Rae Bareli, use terracotta-made kulhads, glasses and plates.
Gadkari 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. The minister said he has also instructed the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) to supply equipment for large-scale production of kulhads .
The KVIC distributed 10,000 electric wheels to potters for making kulhads last year and this year the target is 25,000 electric wheels. Under the Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana, the government has been distributing electric wheels to potters to increase their productivity.
"Mandatory use of kulhad will generate more employment in rural areas and it will also be a perfect answer to end use of single-use plastic cups ," said an MSME ministry official.