Supply of Aavin milk was delayed in several parts of south Chennai on Friday, owing to the fire in the Sholinganallur milk processing plant on Thursday.

Residents of some parts of West Mambalam, Saidapet, Ashok Nagar, Pallavaram, Thoraipakkam, Velachery, Adyar, and Mylapore had to contend with a delay of two hours or more both in the morning and evening.

Residents of West Mambalam said they did not receive their supply of milk until 8.45 a.m. Balu, a resident, said, “We were told the delay was due to vehicle breakdown. Our children had to do without milk this morning.” Residents of Perungudi and Neelankarai said they received their supply only around 8 a.m.

A distributor in Perungudi said supply to the areas where he delivers milk sachets was delayed by several hours. The milk was dispatched from Madhavaram distribution centre at 3 a.m. but it reached us only around 9 a.m., he said. A spokesperson for Aavin said milk was procured from Madhavaram and Ambattur to offset the shortage caused by fire in the Sholinganallur unit. “We were able to maintain the supply to cardholders. Only cash sale was affected.” There were no reports of vehicle breakdown, he said.

The Sholinganallur unit supplies around 3.2 lakh litres every day and on Friday a demand of around two lakh litres was met.

The supply to Aavin's agents and retail outlets was affected, the spokesperson added. As the unit had begun functioning on Friday, supply would be normal and wholesale distributors and retailers would also receive their regular supply on Saturday, he said.

According to Aavin officials, only three complaints were received on its toll free helpline – 18004253300 on Friday. None of them pertained to delay or loss of supply. In a press release, the Tamilnadu Dairy Development All Employees Union has called for a thorough investigation into the fire alleging that the fire was started to erase evidence of irregularities in accounting for milk powder and awarding contracts, which led to losses to Aavin.

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