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Milk shortage escalates in Pune as supply drops by 30%, residents hit

Milk shortage in Pune was due to stoppage of milk collection by two prominent dairies, Chitale and Gokul.

pune Updated: Jul 18, 2018 17:32 IST
Shrinivas Deshpande
Shrinivas Deshpande
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,milk shortage in Pune,Swabhimani Shetkari Saghtana
A view of milk tankers parked at Pune’s Katraj dairy.Residents of the city have been hit by milk shortage due to the agitation by Swabhimani Shetkari Saghtana. (Ravindra Joshi/ HT Photo )

Milk supply to Pune city dropped by 30% on Tuesday, the second day of the Swabhimani Shetkari Saghtana’s (SSS) agitation to demand higher support price. The shortage was mainly due to the stopping of milk collection by two prominent dairies, Chitale and Gokul.

Dairy operators said the situation could worsen on Wednesday as milk collection had dropped in western Maharashtra which supplies milk to Pune city.

Indraneel Chitale, a partner at Chitale dairy, said, “There has been a deficit of 30 per cent in our supply to Pune today. The supply will reduce further from Wednesday as we have closed our collection centres. We are hoping that the government resolves this issue.”

Katraj dairy, which normally supplies 2.25 lakh litres milk to Pune on a daily basis, collected around 70,000 litres of milk on Tuesday, the second day of the agitation.

Vishnu Hingane, chairman of the Katraj dairy said, “There has been an impact on the collection of milk even though our centres were open.”

Why are the dairy farmers protesting?
While farmers are getting ₹16-₹18 for a litre of cow’s milk, customers are paying ₹42 per litre.

Citizens began facing shortage during the evening as SSS activists and farmers participating in the agitation stopped milk tankers proceeding to Pune from Kolhapur, Satara, Sangli and Ahmednagar, the main milk producing districts of western Maharashtra. Pune receives a daily supply of around 13 lakh litres of which, Chitale dairy alone supplies four lakh litres. Over the last two days, SSS activists have prevented entry of nearly 125 milk tankers into various cities of Maharashtra.

Tankers carrying thousands of litres of milk were emptied in different parts of Maharashtra, including Sangli, Solapur, Kolhapur, Pandharpur, Beed, Buldana, Washim and Aurangabad.

SSS activists set fire to a milk tanker near Malegaon. At many places, SSS workers offered milk to prominent deities as a part of their agitation. The state administration has deployed police force at collection centres across western Maharashtra where farmers come in large number to sell milk. Some of the tankers carrying milk were provided with police escort in Kolhapur.

On Monday night at around 10.30 pm, two milk tankers belonging to Amul and two others from Gokul dairy were vandalised at Shivajinagar and Hadapsar respectively in Pune city.

Meanwhile, Alankar police arrested Ronak Jaya Shetty (26), a resident of Senapati Bapat road, in connection with breaking the windshield of a milk tanker and causing damage to the tune of Rs 25,000 on Monday night. According to the police, Ronak and three others attacked the tanker. Police sub inspector SG Chavan is investigating the case.

First Published: Jul 18, 2018 11:51 IST