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Take Laloo's word: Kullhar to replace plastic cups in trains

Our Bureau

New Delhi , May 24

FORGET plastic cups, the next time you travel by train, you will be served tea in a "kullhar", the environment-friendly earthen cups which have lost favour in the recent years.

Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav took over as Railways Minister today and was straight off the mark, announcing that plastic cups will be banned on Railway premises. The move, Mr Yadav said, will not only generate more business and employment for potters, it will also be a small step in environment protection. Speaking to newspersons after taking charge, Mr Yadav announced special rail passes for freedom fighters, accredited media persons and senior citizens. In his inimitable style, the former Bihar Chief Minister said that he would take special care of journalists as "they are my IB" (Intelligence Bureau). The new Railways Minister said that safety would receive top priority and there would be no compromise on safety, security, cleanliness and punctuality.

Asked by when the plastic cups would be phased out, a senior Railway Board official said: "You wait and watch. You will soon be served food in a `pattal' (a plate made of dried leaves)." The other thing that remains unclear is how will soft-drink companies comply with the directive. While everyone remembers sipping morning tea in an earthen cup, a Coke or Pepsi in a kullhar is surely unheard of.

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