दक्षिण पश्चिम रेलवे/ SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY
प्रेस विज्ञप्ति/ Press Release No. 291 Dt: 30.11.2020
SIP YOUR TEA/COFFEE IN KULHADS AT STATIONS IN SWR
Shri Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Minister of Railways,, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, when speaking at an event to mark the inauguration of the electrified Dhigawara-Bandikui section under north-western Railways on 29.11.2020 has said that tea will be sold in eco-friendly 'kulhad' (earthen cups) across all railway stations in India from now instead of plastic cups. Hon’ble Minister said that this initiative will be one of Railways' contribution towards plastic-free India. As directed by Hon’ble Minister, Indian Railways is going eco-friendly by taking this step and the national transporter has decided to make all its stations and trains free of plastic. In SWR, plastic cups have been completely discontinued since last 2 years and paper cups are being used to serve tea/coffee at Railway stations.
One of the most popularly used crockery across the country is a Kulhads or kulhar, also known as Shikora. This clay cup has been traditionally used as a cup for various delicacies like, Masala Chai, Mishti Doi (curd), hot Malai Doodh with mawa or kulfi. It is known to give an earthy essence, flavour and fragrance to the respective delicacy. These clay cups are mostly seen during winters when most chaiwallahs serve hot tea in them.
This initiative was mooted by Ex-MOSR Late Suresh Angadi to shift towards plastic-free operations and to help farmers and local artisans as demand for their products will increase. These Kulhads was introduced on experimental basis as a pilot project on Hubballi Division in Jan 2020 where Kulhads were introduced on few stations of Hubballi Division. The same were well accepted by the rail users at Hubballi and the surrounding stations. About 8000 kulhads have been procured for use at the Railway Stations over Hubballi Division and will be introduced in catering and tea stalls for the use of customers.
Bengaluru Division of South Western Railway has this cue and has ensured the availability of Kulhads at all its major stations. Division is in the process of making attractive pictorial flyers for display at stalls that would inform the passengers of the availability of Kulhads. These Kulhads will be used to supply Tea/Coffee/Milk to the passengers.
In Mysuru stations Kulhads have been introduced in catering stalls and in milk stalls for the customers. The Kulhads will be provided at other stations over the division in due course.
Shri Ajay kumar Singh, General Manager/SWR said that these Kulhads are biodegradable and hence can be thrown or broken and won't be hazardous like plastic. Kulhads are also healthier than plastic or glass containers. Shri Singh said that this measure is a true testimony for “vocal for local” where in support to potters will be extended by opening up new stream of business for them and expands their trade in the present scenario.
By serving tea/coffee in Kulhads the traveler can get an earthly aroma which no other material can provide. In this current scenario of Covd-19, the hygiene can be ensured as these Kulhads are not reusable and there is no worry of spread of germs or bacteria. Kulhads are inherently hygienic, considering they are made by firing kiln, a type of oven having a certain temperature that is used to harden or dry clay objects. Basically, the Kulhads are processed under high temperature ensuring a sterile cup. The introduction of Kulhads will be a major milestone in a slew of green initiatives taken up by SWR.
Chief Public Relations Officer South Western Railway, Hubballi