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Dairy farmers’ agitation sees mixed impact on milk supply in Pune on Day 4

Chitale dairy, one of Pune’s largest suppliers, said it won’t be able to supply milk on July 19 but the other major supplier, Katraj dairy, said its collections were going smoothly.

pune Updated: Jul 20, 2018 15:06 IST
Shrinivas Deshpande
Shrinivas Deshpande
Hindustan Times, Pune
milk agitation,dairy farmers' agitation in Maharashtra,Pune
Milk distribution centre of Pune’s Chitale dairy. One of the two major milk suppliers of the city, Chitale said on Wednesday that all its buffer stock has been exhausted. (Ravindra Joshi / HT Photo )

Chitale dairy, one of the largest suppliers of milk to Pune, on Wednesday issued a statement claiming that all its buffer stock of milk has been exhausted and hence, “Chitale milk will not be available on July 19”.

This is the first real impact on Pune of the dairy farmers’ agitation spearheaded by the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) which began on July 16.

Until July 18, the state-wide stir had little or no effect on major cities like Mumbai and Thane, apart from Pune.

Raju Shetti, a member of parliament and leader of the farmers’ party, SSS, on Wednesday, issued a call to escalate the agitation by continued blocking of roads to prevent supplies of milk reaching the cities.

“On Wednesday we supplied around 40 per cent of our total supply to Pune city. Till Wednesday we supplied our limited buffer stock, but from Thursday we will not be able to supply milk to the city as we have closed all our milk collection centres,” said Indraneel Chitale, partner, Chitale dairy.

However, Vishnu Hinge, chairman, Katraj dairy, another major supplier of milk to the city, said, “We did not see any problem with the milk collection. On Wednesday morning we collected around 80 per cent of our total supply. Our collections are going smoothly.”

Katraj dairy, which normally supplies 2.25 lakh litres of milk to Pune on a daily basis, collects a majority of its milk from dairy farmers in Pune district.

Pune receives a daily supply of around 13 lakh litres of which, Chitale dairy supplies four lakh litres.

Over the last three days, SSS activists have prevented the entry of milk-supplying vehicles into various cities of Maharashtra.

Raju Shetti is demanding a subsidy of Rs 5 per litre of cow’s milk for dairy farmers. Most dairies in Maharashtra pay between Rs 17-Rs 18 per litre for cow’s milk - cited as being lower than the cost of a bottle of packaged drinking water.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has called a meeting of all major dairy owners in Maharashtra, those collecting more than 1 lakh litres of milk per day, on Thursday.

First Published: Jul 19, 2018 13:47 IST