Pune: The agitation call given by Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana (SSS) leader Raju Shetty, demanding higher support price of milk, dropped the supply of milk by 100 per cent on Wednesday in major dairies like 'Chitale' and 'Gokul Milk,' here.
Chitale milk collection came to Zero on Wednesday, the third day of the agitation. The shortage was mainly due to stopping of milk collection by two prominent dairies of the state - Chitale and Gokul.
Dairy operators in Maharashtra said the situation had worsened on Wednesday since milk collection almost dropped in western Maharashtra, which supplies milk to Pune and other major cities.
Indraneel Chitale, a partner at Chitale dairy said, ''There was 'Zero' collection of milk on Wednesday, since we have shut down our centre. The supply will totally stop from Thursday, as we have closed our collection centres. We are hoping that the government resolves this issue immediately.'' Katraj dairy, which normally supplies 2.25 lakh litres milk to Pune on a daily basis, collected around a few litres of milk on Wednesday.
Vishnu Hingane, chairman of the Katraj dairy, said ''There has been a major impact on the collection of milk, even though our few centres are open.'' Citizens began facing shortage during Tuesday 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 three 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 at Sangli, Solapur, Kolhapur, Pandharpur, Beed, Buldana, Washim and Aurangabad.
SSS activists set fire to a milk tanker near Malegaon last night.
At many places, SSS workers offered milk to prominent deities, as part of their agitation.
The state administration has deployed police force at few 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.
Two milk tankers belonging to Amul and two others from Gokul dairy were vandalised at Shivajinagar and Hadapsar, respectively in Pune city, during the last three days.