Chennai

Aavin to ensure supply despite tanker stir

Photograph used for representational purposes only

Photograph used for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: K. Pichumani

Negotiations are on to ensure fair price, says Aavin managing director.

Even as private tanker operators carrying milk from and to various Aavin dairies in the State continued their strike, demanding a hike in the rates for transportation of milk, Aavin, the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation, said that arrangements were in place to ensure milk supplies to Chennai and elsewhere.

“We already have enough milk to ensure supply till Monday morning. A total of 150 tankers are required to bring the city’s 12 lakh litres a day from the dairies and carry the remaining 18 lakh litres to other dairies. Aavin has its own fleet of 60 tankers. we have mobilised another 120 from the neighbouring States and from contractors supplying to private brands,” said Aavin managing director M. Vallalar.

Operators’ demand

On the increase in transportation rates sought by private tanker operators, he said that it was for Aavin’s board-level tender committee to fix the rates. “Negotiations are on to ensure a fair price. As it is, our margins are very slim,” he explained.

S.A. Sengottuvelu and M.G. Rajendran, of the Tamil Nadu Milk Producers’ Welfare Association, in a statement urged the Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami to blacklist one particular contractor, who had formed a syndicate, had bent tender rules to be able to participate in it and was holding Aavin, the consumers, and the government to ransom.

The transport contract ended in December 2018, and after that, operators have been operating on extensions. Following talks on Saturday, R. Subramanian, president of the Aavin Contract Lorry Owners’ Association, said, “The talks are continuing and there hasn’t been any significant progress. We are continuing the strike. We stopped operating our trucks since we could not continue operating at the present rates. There are about 315 trucks under the association,” he said.

Tamil Nadu Milk Dealers’ Employees’ Welfare Association president S.A. Ponnusamy said Aavin should ensure that consumers are not affected due to the strike.

Informed sources said that the old rates were ₹20.50 a km for tankers with 9-KL capacity and ₹24.50/km for tankers with a capacity of 15 KL. The new rates proposed by Aavin are ₹26/km for the 9-KL tankers and ₹34.50/km for 15-KL tankers. Toll rates will be added accordingly.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 8:07:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/aavin-tankers-strike-in-tamil-nadu/article30828304.ece

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