A delivery van of Sudha Dairy zips through Bistupur. Picture by Srinivas
Jamshedpur, May 19: The steel city is inching towards a severe milk crisis.
Sudha Dairy, a government subsidiary that supplies the bulk of the milk to the city, has restricted supply to morning only from tomorrow. Earlier, Sudha used to supply milk to retailers in the morning and evening.
The company has also asked retailers not to ask for more that the quota allotted to them.
S.K. Singh, the marketing manager of Sudha Dairy, said the crisis of milk was due to shortage of supply from Bihar. “The shortage of milk happens to be annual phenomenon during summer. This year, the shortage has been acute,” said the marketing manager.
Though supply from other dairies is expected, the shortage would have a bearing on the prices of milk products.
Hoteliers said the price of lassi — the most sought-after drink in summer — is bound to shoot up. Moreover, people would be left with no option but to use milk powder.
Sudha had to regulate the supply of standard milk (cream milk) from the first week of May but supply of toned milk was maintained.
“From tomorrow we are left with no option but to curtail the supply of toned milk. The situation may be worse but there is nothing we can do to keep the milk flowing,” said Singh.
In the absence of Sudha milk, sales of Amrit Dairy and Nand Dairy have gone up considerably. In fact, it is heydays for small dairies, which are yet to establish in the market. Retailers dealing with milk products are stocking products from Amrit and Nand dairies.
“I wanted a litre of Sudha milk but the shopkeeper gave me a packet of Amrit milk. Sudha or Amrit, everything is the same for me,” said Sravan Srivastava, an employee of a national bank.
Another customer specifically wanted Sudha milk but purchased milk from another company after the shopkeeper convinced him that the product was all right.
But hoteliers would be more selective.
“We buy milk from Sudha and other local suppliers. But due to the non-availability of milk from Sudha Dairy in the required volume, we had to curtail the preparation of lassi and curd,” said a hotelier.
Deputy commissioner (East Singhbhum) Ravindra Agrawal said he was aware of the impending crisis. “I will start a checking drive so that the milk sold in the shops are quality products,” said the deputy commissioner.