Milk supply hit by farmers’ protests

ST Correspondent
Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Members of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghathana and other organisations are leading the protest. Several dairy farmers are staging protests in different parts of the State since Monday, demanding a higher purchase price and a subsidy of Rs 5 per litre for milk. 

Pune: As farmers continued their protest demanding a rise in milk prices, the milk supply in the city was hit on the second day of the strike across the state. Members of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghathana and other organisations are leading the protest. Several dairy farmers are staging protests in different parts of the State since Monday, demanding a higher purchase price and a subsidy of Rs 5 per litre for milk. 

As protesters have been stopping tankers filled with milk and emptying them on the roads, the police in different parts of the State are escorting the milk tankers to avoid law and order problems. Police officials have started lodging cases against protesting farmers and detaining several of them in districts of Pune, Buldhana, Ahmednagar, Nashik, Kolhapur and others. 

Speaking about the supply of milk, Vishnu Hinge, Chairman of Katraj Dairy said till Tuesday milk supply was good and though there were protests across the state they were able to serve their customers. 
Shrikrishna Chitale, Director of Chitale Milk said Chitale collects about 5 to 6 lakh litres milk on a daily basis. “The supply is affected and we will be able to serve one more day from our stock. If farmers are ready to supply milk stock to us then we will be further able to serve our customers,” added Chitale.

The Pune District Cooperative Milk Producers Association Chairman Vivek Kshirsagar said milk supply is affected in the district for last two days. “On Tuesday about 1.5 lakh litres of milk was collected which will last for one more day,” added Kshrisagar.

Cases registered
Two cases were lodged at Alankar and Hadapsar police stations against several people for obstructing milk tankers and causing loses to people. Yogesh Pande, a spokesperson of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghathana (SSS), said that the government is using muscle power to reduce the gravity of their protest. “Several cases were lodged against us and many were detained by police on Tuesday. There was a meeting in Delhi related to the issue but SSS leader Raju Shetty was not invited. On July 13, Raju Shetty had met Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal and it was decided to have a talk on the issue on July 23,” added Pande.

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