Forced by vendors to pay extra for milk packets

Illegal pricing of the much sought-after Aavin milk by vendors has raised serious concerns among consumers in Tuticorin. Many consumers say the milk produced by cooperative societies with the support of the State Government is being sold at excessive prices by the vendor.

Though the price of Aavin milk was increased by the government recently, the consumers were forced by the vendors to pay extra for milk packets, S.Hema Latha, a consumer from Bryant Nagar, said here on Wednesday.

A.Selvam, another consumer, said the government fixed the price of the half a litre packet of toned milk (blue-coloured packet) at Rs.13.50, but many vendors were selling it at Rs.16 and above. At some shops near Tuticorin Old Corporation Office on WGC Road and Telegram Office Road, the packet was sold at Rs.14. Though the government-approved price was printed on milk packets, the vendors had been selling them for Rs.16 in shops at Damodaran Nagar Main Road, Chidambara Nagar and Bryant Nagar in the heart of the city, Mr.Selvam added.

The consumers said the officials concerned must crack down on such vendors. Consumer rights were grossly infringed upon, Antony Raj, a member of Consumer Rights Club in Tuticorin, said.

M.Jasmine, a consumer from Bucklepuram, said cards should be issued to all milk consumers to buy it at the fixed price. Even branded milk packets from private dairies were being sold with a profit margin of Rs.7 per litre, she added.

When contacted, A.Sankar, president, Tuticorin District Consumer Rights and Protection Association, said 15 complaints of overpricing had been received from Aavin milk consumers.

The issue was brought to the notice of Collector Ashish Kumar, and he asked the officials to raid shops and take action against those charging extra price for milk. Licences of three milk vendors were cancelled last year, he noted.