Indian Railway Minister to ban soft drinks on trains
Cold drinks like Pepsi, Cola and Fanta would be replaced by traditional Indian drinks
16 May 2005
NEW DELHI - India's federal railway minister said he will ban soft drinks on trains and at stations, according to news reports Sunday.
"A ban will be imposed on serving of cold drinks like Pepsi, (Coke) Cola and Fanta in trains as well as at railway stations," the Times of India newspaper quoted minister Laloo Prasad Yadav as saying at a public meeting.
Yadav said traditional Indian drinks like butter milk, made with yoghurt, salt and water, would be served instead. He didn't specify when the ban would come into effect.
Soon after he became minister last year Yadav banned the selling of tea in plastic cups and introduced "kullhars" or earthen pots instead.
He is controversial and always full of surprises. Last August, more than 500 railway ministry employees were locked out of their offices and sent home because they reported late to work.
Yadav conducted the spot check himself, perched on a locomotive model near the ministry's gate.
But his personal track record is far from flawless. He is on trial in several corruption cases and has been to jail at least six times.
He is head of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, a regional party from the lawless eastern state of Bihar, which is also the Congress Party-led coalition government's largest ally.