State animal husbandry minister Mannan Mallik (in white kurta) takes a look at dairy equipment at the Bhuda function on Wednesday. Picture by Gautam Dey
Coal capital Dhanbad is treading the milky way.
State animal husbandry and fisheries minister Mannan Mallik on Wednesday laid the foundation stone for the extension of Dhanbad Dairy in Bhuda to address the district’s milk woes.
The project, to be completed within three months at an estimated cost of Rs 2.67 crore, will see a new processing plant in addition to the existing one, which is lying defunct since July.
“Once the new plant comes up, the dairy will produce 20,000 litres of milk every day. Once that happens, residents of Dhanbad will not have to depend on milk and allied products procured from outside the district,” said Mallik, also Dhanbad MLA.
The minister also inaugurated Dhanbad Dairy Development Centre on the dairy premises on Wednesday. It will supervise all dairy development projects of the district.
This apart, he announced setting up of a refrigeration plant at the dairy and making 14 milk parlours, which were established more than a year ago, operational across the district for selling the finished products.
A source in Dhanbad Dairy Development Centre said that the ammonium refrigeration plant, which would come up on the dairy premises, would act as cold storage for milk. “A wide range of products like curd, toned milk, paneer and khoya will be produced from the dairy now with ease,” he added.
Dhanbad Dairy was established at a cost of Rs 67 lakh. Then chief minister Shibu Soren had inaugurated it with much fanfare on October 5, 2008. After churning out 5,000 litres of milk in its first year, production went down to 200 litres on an average due to several technical glitches.
On July 1, 2013, the existing milk processing plant stopped working fully. Since then, supply of milk from the dairy has remained suspended. At present, over 25 lakh consumers in the coal district are getting milk and related products from the state capital.
“The technical snag in the existing plant will be fixed before Foundation Day on November 15 and production will resume soon,” Mallik assured the gathering.
Jharkhand dairy project director Mukesh Prasad Singh and district dairy officer D.P. Vidyarthi were present on the occasion. Later in the day, Mallik, along with local MP P.N. Singh, took part in a workshop on intensive dairy development at Dhanbad Club.