Milk out of a machine? This is finally a reality in Mumbai, with a milk packaging company setting up the city’s first milk vending machines at Mankhurd – two machines have been set up on an experimental basis.
The cost of milk at this vending machine is Rs 4 less than that of packaged milk. The packaged milk by the same company is sold at Rs 38 MRP, while at the vending machine it is available at Rs 34 a litre.
The company is planning to set up 50 such machines in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). Other milk suppliers are now waiting to see the outcome of the experiment to set up similar machines.
The move comes at a time when some popular milk cooperatives are struggling with distributors and retailers to ensure smooth supply of milk and coping with overcharging related issues. Consumer activists feel that the automated vending machines will not only cut packaging costs and human intervention in the milk supply chain but also ensure unadulterated milk supply.
For consumers, this will mean huge relief as the initiative will cut down overcharging and milk adulteration. Often city consumers complain about being overcharged by Rs 2-5 a litre. There is also the fear of milk adulteration.
“We definitely welcome such a move as this will eliminate the scope of overcharging and adulteration,” said Shirish Deshpande, Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP) chairman.
“We have started identifying locations to install more automated milk vending machines. There is a slot for a prepaid card in the machine which will be activated in the next phase. We are working on the modes of payment before commissioning the second phase,” said an official of the milk packaging company.