Soon, the Ministry of Railways would be serving tea and other edible items in eco-friendly materials such as in Kulhad throughout the nation. Over 25 railways stations will be using environment-friendly catering products. These 25 stations include Bikaner, Sirsa, Bhiwani, Hanumangarh, Shri Ganganagar, Hisar, Churu, Suratgarh, Jodhpur, Pali, Barmer, Nagpur, Jaisalmer, Bhagat Ki Kothi, Luni, Jaipur, Jhunjhuna, Dausa, Gandhi Nagar, Durgapura, Sikar, Ajmer, Udaipur, Sirohi Road and Abu Road.
The zonal railways and IRCTC are taking necessary actions to make sure that environmentally safe products like kulhad, terracotta plates and glasses are used at the railway stations across the country. Till now, Varanasi and Rae Bareli were two such railway stations that have already been using terracotta and earthen made articles. But, Indian Railways has now decided to start the use of eco-friendly products at around 400 railway stations.
Do you know how railways switched to pottery products?
It all started with when the Union MSME Minister, Shri Nitin Gadkari and Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) Chairman, VK Saxena requested the railway minister to start with a pilot project of using Kulhad and other pottery articles instead of plastic materials. After that Shri Piyush Goyal, Union railway minister permitted two stations to use eco-friendly products for a period of 6 months. As this initiative turned out to be a big hit at Varanasi and Rae Bareli railway station, this step has also been taken up by North Western Railways.
In the era of digitalization, gone are the days when people used earthen pottery products. Due to the lack of market, potters in India were having a hard time and were switching to other means of livelihood. Last year, KVIC introduced Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojna to empower Kumhar Community. More than 10,000 electric pottery wheels were given to the potters in place of labour-intensive stone chaak.
In 2019 as well, KVIC has distributed 30,000 electric pottery wheels in order to meet the demands of 400 railway stations. These 30,000 electric pottery wheels will be producing more than 2 Crores Kulhads everyday. This initiative will not only give a boost to the potter community but also, spread awareness about the benefits of using earthen products. In addition to this, it will help in enhancing tourists health while adding Indian flavour to the travel and tourism industry.
In order to outlaw the use of plastics and spread awareness on the cleanliness, the government of India has launched a nationwide campaign, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Indian Government deserves a round of applause as it is the largest cleanliness drive in which three million government employees and students from every nook and corner of our motherland have participated.
A likewise move has been taken by railways on October 02, 2019, to ban the single-use plastics. From then onwards, Indian Railways is constantly working on such pilot projects and have also installed a plastic bottle crushing machine in the train. To delve more on what railways are doing for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, do read the blog on Railways shun single-use plastics and Railways goes green.
In 2009, RITES (Rail India Technical and Economic Service) conducted a survey at three prominent railway stations in Delhi which are Hazrat Nizamuddin (HNZM), Old Delhi (DLI) and New Delhi (NDLS) Railway Stations. As per the analysis, the total plastic waste generation is 7 Tonnes per day (TPD) collectively from these three stations. An average of 20-32 percent (2 tonnes) of waste is generated solely by PET bottles and plastic cups. This is just a field survey of 3 stations. Imagine how much plastic waste is generated at all the railway stations in India on a daily, monthly or yearly basis.
What are you doing to make India clean and green? Tell us your views in the comments section below. For your one-stop solution book train as well as flight tickets through Trainman app. Download Trainman App and check PNR Status of the booked ticket, Running Status of your train, Train between stations and many such mind-boggling features.