Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bargarh, May 12:
Odisha Milk Federation (OMFED) today initiated legal recourse against the milk producers who had decapped the valve of the tanker of the dairy cooperative resulting in a loss of around 15, 000 litres of the essential commodity.
According to reports, a senior official of OMFED filed an FIR with the local police against the milk farmers for spilling milk on the road.
The Assistant General Manager of OMFED, Samir Muduli filed the complaint with Bargarh police this evening.
The move comes after OMFED MD Bishnupada Sethi asked the authorities of the Bargarh plant to file FIR against the milk producers of Bheden and Atabira societies who broke loose and went on a vandalisation spree at Gandhi Chhak here this morning.
Earlier in the day, the milk producers in the district were agitating in front of District Collector’s office against OMFED’s refusal to accept milk which the latter claimed to be adulterated.
“The officials say that salt, jaggery is mixed in the milk. We had been supplying milk to it since so long and they found adulteration today?” a farmer asked.
The farmers alleged that the government-run dairy has adopted an anti-farmer policy as it reduced 30% intake since April 1.
“We have been providing milk since 1992. There were no complaints about the quality. At times they were giving us half the price, but we never complained. We have availed dairy loan to feed our families. We want the government to intervene and sort out the issue,” a dairy farmer urged.
The Bargarh plant authorities refused to accept around 9000 litres milk citing it to be adulterated. In protest against it, the farmers staged a demonstration. However, the agitation turned ugly when the protestors waylaid a loaded milk tanker and decapped its valve following which 6, 000 litres was all over the Gandhi Chhak. This apart, they also spilt the milk rejected by the plant.
Worse, the farmers were seen washing their chappals and taking milk bath under the outlet.
“We found sugar adulteration in the milk following which we rejected it. Last year, we had received Supreme Court notification in which it said any form of adulterant in milk will be deemed punishable under the PFA (Prevention of Food Adulteration) Act and the guilty will be liable for a punishment of seven years. We had issued circulars to the societies to stay away from adulteration. Today, we found a majority of the milk samples were adulterated. We have preserved the samples so that they can cross-check it,” Samir Muduli, AGM, OMFED said.
“OMFED is refusing to take around 20, 000 litres of milk every day from the societies in Bargarh. Milk products such as butter milk, sweet butter milk, lassi, milk among others are not available in Odisha market. Even though the farmers are supplying milk at lowest price in the country, they are unable to market their products. They are not taking milk to cover their loopholes,” a society secretary alleged.