While resident associations commonly only work for the betterment of civic issues in their area, a group called the New Link Road Residents Forum (NLRRF) has been successful in putting a stop to the recurring problem of milk adulteration in the Borivli-Dahisar belt.
Members of NLRRF have even managed to get some accused nabbed including after the busting of one such racket late last year.
A core committee of eight members organise 15-minute talks at housing societies to train residents on how to identify adulterated milk packets. The group also has a network on social media where people register their complaints.
“After catching the delivery boys, we try to reach the units where the adulterations takes place along with police teams. So far we have managed to raid units located in slum areas of Poisar, Shimpoli and Shivaji Nagar,” said Harish Pandey of the NLRRF.
Another member, Dr S P Mathew, said the group regularly keeps an eye on milk packets dropped off in their respective buildings.
“Initially we probed the issue at our local level, then we informed the officials of the FDA who supported us by reaching the spot in the wee hours. Later we even ivolved the police. We even check milk packets at the local grocery stores. The complaints have reduced a lot,” said Mathew.
The biggest success the team witnessed was in 2011 when an alleged kingpin of the milk adulteration rackets in suburban Mumbai was nabbed following their efforts. The residents’ forum had tailed him for nearly a fortnight, before formulating a plan to catch him red-handed.
This, however, did not stop milk adulteration activities in the area and residents continued to have complaints of tampered milk packets. Pandey said, “One can easily make out if a milk packet is tampered. The seals of such packets are zigzagged. Tampered milk packets do not have an expiry date and packaging date printed properly. The activities still continue in the area and we too continue to be alert.”