Consumers in some areas here are experiencing severe shortage of milk for the past few days.

The consumers, who buy from milk booths in particular were hard hit. Vidya Prabhu of Pandeshwar said the booth-keeper there, opposite police station, had told her that he was getting about 60 crates fewer than the demand.

“He has been giving only half-a-litre to each customer,” Ms. Prabhu said.

The booth-keeper near Gandhi Park in Ashoknagar and another near Mari temple in Urwa were also following similar method to tide over the situation. “I have to ensure that everyone gets some quantity of milk,” said the woman manning the booth near Mari temple. The problem aggravated on Saturday, they said. The booth in Ashoknagar and Mari temple got 30 to 40 crates less than the regular supply. A housewife said she had to buy a half-litre packet of a private brand at Rs. 13, though the price printed on it was Rs. 10.

The driver of a Nandini milk supply van told The Hindu in Lalbagh area that he had been getting only three-fourth of the regular supply. “I do not know why. You have to ask the higher ups,” he said.

Ms. Prabhu found it strange that the problem had aggravated after the prices of milk was increased. “In fact, there was shortage of milk a couple of days before the price rise. But, it suddenly aggravated from the day the hike was implemented,” she said.

The problem appeared to be severe in some areas only. A few consumers in Kadri and Shakthinagar said they were getting adequate supply of milk. Managing Director of Dakshina Kannada Cooperative Milk Producers Union Ltd., Chandrashekhar Nayak, told The Hindu that the union was able to meet only about 80 per cent of the demand.

The districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada need about 3 lakh litres of milk a day and 50,000 litres of curds. He said, local procurement had come down by about 15,000 litres in the two districts while the demand had increased by about 10,000 litres to 15,000 litres in the recent past. Many farmers had given up animal husbandry because of increasing cost of fodder and cattle feed, he said.

The local procurement was 1.4 lakh litres. After procuring 1.3 lakh litres from Hassan and 15,000 litres each from Mandya and Tumkur, the union was able to supply about 2.6 lakh litres of milk and 40,000 litres of curds, he said.

Keywords: Milk scarcity

More In: Mangalore