Shivratri celebrations are deemed incomplete unless an offering of milk is made to Lord Shiva. The fervour on Friday brought cheer to dairy owners and milk sellers, and was reflected in sales made by milk plants across the state.
Sales of state-run corporation Milkfed’s packaged milk, sold under the brand name Verka, jumped by more than 50%, nearing 13 lakh litres in five prime regions by 6pm on the day. The sales from these plants usually hover around 8.5 lakh litres, officials said.
In Ludhiana, orders started pouring in from 6.30 am onwards. The most hectic business hours remained till 11 am with maximum orders coming between 7 am and 9 am, according to shop owners.
Figures made available by a spokesperson said the Mohali-Chandigarh-Panchkula region saw sales of 6.76 lakh litres, up from a usual day’s 4.25 lakh. In Jalandhar, sales jumped from 1.25 lakh to 1.92 lakh litres, while Amritsar usually sells 62,000 litres but had sold 76,000 litres by 6pm on Friday. In Ludhiana, sales jumped from the usual 2 lakh to over 3 lakh litres. Sales from the Patiala plant were 39,000 litres, compared to a normal day’s 31,000.
The plant on Ludhiana’s Ferozpur Road alone recorded an extra sales of 80,000 litres, above the usual 1.6 lakh litres. “The response has been encouraging at other outlets as well. The sale of lassi and curd also went up,” said HS Sandhu, general manager of the plant.
Besides, individual dairy owners also saw jump in sales. “We wait for this festival as it is a boon for our business. In fact, if I compare sales of the festival from last year, they are 20% higher; and that within three hours in the morning. Some religious associations bought in bulk,” said Gurdeep Singh, owner of a dairy shop at Pakhowal Road in Ludhiana.
Anirudh Ghai, a Khanna-based milk plant owner who supplies across the Ludhiana district, echoed, “There was increase in sales by 45% from the usual day, and was up 25% as compared to last year’s Shivratri. We had already ensured provision of extra milk. Many people also bought lassi for ceremonial pouring on the Shivling and donation.”