Chennai

End of an era as Aavin shuts down button paal

The milk sold through automatic vending machines was one among the first facilities of its kind in the city and became a big hit — Photo: The Hindu Archives

The milk sold through automatic vending machines was one among the first facilities of its kind in the city and became a big hit — Photo: The Hindu Archives

On October 15, Aavin will supply milk through its automatic vending machines (AVMs) for the last time. The famed ‘button paal’, as it is known in local parlance, will no longer be available.

On a daily basis, the AVMs sell up to 24,000 litres of milk in 203 locations, both through cards and cash. Besides, institutions buy 13,000 litres a day.

From Thursday, all these consumers will get milk through sachets, a senior official said, adding that nowhere else has the organisation been selling milk through AVMs.

In Chennai, the quantity of milk being sold is 11.5 lakh litres a day. Totally, Aavin sells 21.5 lakh litres every day throughout the State.

The change in the mode of supply is being done as a quality control measure. “There have been complaints of adulteration of the milk sold through these machines. The organisation has chosen to do away with this mode, even though the shift will cost an additional Rs. 1.25 crore per annum,” an official said.

Introduced by Aavin in the late 1970s with some amount of scepticism, the AVMs soon became a big hit among Chennai consumers as they provided an interesting experience. But, in a matter of 10 years, sachets came to be preferred and, by the mid-1990s, the quantity of milk sold was 3.5 lakh litres a day.

The recent milk adulteration scam that had rocked Aavin only hastened the end of the mode, said another official.


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Printable version | May 19, 2022 2:55:22 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/end-of-an-era-as-aavin-shuts-down-button-paal/article6501222.ece