| Customers purchase milk from a Sudha Dairy outlet in Patna on Monday. Picture by Jai Prakash |
Patna, Oct. 31: Demand of milk touches the sky on Kharna every year. It was no different today.
According to Bihar State Milk Co-operative Federation (Comfed) sources, 3 lakh litres of milk was supplied today. Usually, the figure hovers around 1.75 lakh litres.
An integral part of Kharna rituals is preparing kheer for the evening prasad. To meet the demands of Chhath devotees for milk and ghee — it doubles at this time of the year — Comfed came prepared.
Rajiv Verma, the marketing manager of Comfed (Bihar-Jharkhand), said: “Today, there was more supply of milk and milk products in the city compared to other years, as we didn’t want the devotees to suffer at the last moment.”
The dairy at Patna supplied around 2.4 lakh litres of milk while 65,000 litres of milk was supplied from the Barauni dairy.
Apart from milk, Comfed has also assured adequate supply of ghee during Chhath this year. Compared to a supply of 30,000kg ghee last year, this year the figure stands at 45,000kg.
Complementing Comfed’s supply of 3 lakh litres, the local milkmen supplied around 2 lakh litres of milk. But residents claimed that the milkmen supplied the product in bulk to Chhath devotees and made a profit.
Gola Road resident Seema Prasad, who does not celebrate Chhath, said: “We did not get any milk today because of the festival. The milkman had supplied all of it to residents who celebrate Chhath.”
Seema added blackmarketing on the part of the milkmen is a common thing at this time of the year.
Few other residents also claimed that milkmen mostly sell milk from khatals (cowsheds) during Chhath and charge exorbitant rates from residents.
Some devotees believe milk purchased from khatals is pure than milk from dairies. Long queues were seen at almost every khatal.
Milk was sold at Rs 32 per litre at a khatal on Gola Road. On normal days, the rate is around Rs 28 per litre.
Ramkripal Singh, a resident of the area, said: “I have been buying milk from the milkman near my house for the past three years. But, every year on Chhath, he increases the price.”