Pune: City areas of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad may face shortage of milk supply on Sunday (August 2) due to the dairy farmers agitation intensified from Saturday (August 1) demanding hike in milk procurement prices across Maharashtra. Meanwhile, the milk supply remained normal on Saturday in the cities.
The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) led Maha-Yuti has given a call for statewide agitation demanding a rate of Rs 30 per litre for milk-producing farmers in the state. As a result of this agitation, the milk collection activity will be hit on Saturday and subsequently milk deliveries on Sunday will be affected in city areas.
As a routine practice, the milk collected on the earlier day is distributed midnight and delivered next morning to lakhs of households in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad cities. So, by the time the agitation started on Saturday, milk distribution remained unaffected. However, the milk collection on Saturday will be affected which will result in a shortage of milk supply on Sunday morning.
In Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad cities, around 15 lakh milk pouches are delivered every day. However, since the lockdown was announced in March, the daily consumption of milk in these two cities have reduced considerably. A demand drop to the tune of 5 lakh litres milk daily has been witnessed. This drop in consumption has been attributed to the closure of sweet (mithai) shops, hotels and tea stalls in the city. Relaxations in lockdown have not spurred this demand.
Devendra Shah, Chairperson, Govardhan Milk said, “We are also supporting the agitation called by the dairy farmers in the state for a rate hike in milk procurement prices. The present market situation however is not conducive for this. Considering this, the agitating farmers should protest peacefully and should not waste milk during the protests.”
As a part of protest, Raju Shetti-led Swambhimani Shetkari Sanghatana had recently stopped and emptied milk tankers on the Pune-Bengaluru highway. The organisation has demanded cancellation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) levied on milk products. Shetti has also demanded cancellation of the central government’s decision to import 10,000 tonnes of milk powder.