The Tamil Nadu Milk Dealers Employees Welfare Association (TNMDEWA) has cautioned people in the state over a milk shortage on May 5. This is on account of Traders' Day which is to be observed across the state on Sunday. Asking citizens to stock up on Saturday, the association has also said that measures have been taken to ensure that citizens can purchase a limited quantity of milk on Sunday. However, a 50% shortage in milk supply is expected as shops will be shut, the association said.
Speaking to TNM, Founder and State President of the TNMDEWA SA Ponnusamy, said, “All over Tamil Nadu, around 50 lakh shops will be shut. Milk is usually sold through shops in the state. The milk dealer sells it to the retailer. Only 30% of the milk in the state is sold directly. Since we don't have the capacity to store all the milk, we are expecting a shortage of about 75,000 litres of milk.”
He added that the cooler capacity presently available with the milk dealers only ranges between 300 to 500 litres. "1.5 crore litres of milk is sold in the state every day," he said. Aavin, the state-owned milk cooperative, sells the rest.
The TNMDEWA, however, has taken steps to ease the inconvenience that people may face. “Usually, our supply of milk arrives around midnight to 2 am and we begin distribution by 3: 30 am. By 6 to 7 am, our distribution will be complete and we will open in the evening from 6 to 7 pm to sell the remaining milk. Tomorrow, we have asked our dealers to remain open from 5 to 9 am. The public can make use of this and buy milk if they haven't purchased it earlier,” said Ponnusamy.
Ahead of Traders' Day, the milk dealers association is hoping that the government takes into consideration the welfare of its traders. "The government is spending 70 to 80% of its revenue on government employees. But traders like us, who are responsible for the revenue generation, are not cared for. There are no welfare measures for our families. Homegrown traders are being destroyed. Foreign investment in milk industry should not be allowed," said Ponnusamy.