Retail milk sales are going to be hit in Pune and Mumbai as dairies have stopped milk collection and sales due to the floods in western Maharashtra. Two of the four major milk dairies in the region have suspended milk collection, which is likely to hit supply in the coming days. Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara districts are in the grip of an unprecedented flood due to torrential rain over the last few days. Roads and railway lines have been submerged at several places. Authorities have opened gates of dams in the region to discharge water, worsening the situation. Many villages in the region have been cut off as roads remain submerged.
Ravindra Apte, chairman of the Kolhapur District Cooperative Milk Producers Union, said they have suspended collection and distribution from Tuesday. “Vehicles are unable to reach villages to collect milk. The national highways are submerged so there is no question of us ferrying milk to Pune or Mumbai,” he said. The union retails milk and milk products under the brand Gokul.
Gokul reports a collection of 12-13 lakh litres per day, of which 7 lakh litres are sold in pouch packets in Mumbai. Around 2.45 lakh litres of pouched milk is sold in Pune. “We managed to supply to Kolhapur city but our sales in Sangli and in rural Kolhapur have been hit,” he said.
Vinayakrao Patil, chairman of the Rajarambapu Cooperative Milk Producers Union, said collection of 3 lakh litres of milk has been hit. The union sells its products under the brand Krishna. “Most dairies in our part have suspended operations till the flood waters recede,” he said.
Indraneel Chitale, a partner of the Sangli-based Chitale Dairy, however, said their collection of 6 lakh litres of milk daily has been normal. “We generally sell 4 lakh litres of milk in pouches in Pune and that will remain undisturbed,” he said. Sangli and Kolhapur are the milk producing districts of Maharashtra cornering 30-40 per cent of the 1.5 crore litres of milk collected in the state daily.
Meanwhile, the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, which sells milk and milk products under the Amul brand, has decided to increase its supply to Mumbai. R S Sodhi, managing director of Amul, said they have increased supply by 3 lakh litres per day to Mumbai. Amul alone reports 7-8 lakh litres of sale in Mumbai daily.