By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, June 13: The cooperative societies producing milk in and around Guwahati are capable enough to bring about a white revolution that continues to elude the State due to lack of fitting support and response from the State Government. This is definitely not crying over spilt milk. This is a sheer example of how an incapable administration fails enthusiast entrepreneurs.
Over 3,000 litres of milk, according to official sources, can be collected from the 39 cooperative milk producing societies from the nearby areas of Guwahati. However, sources in the State Dairy Department said, bulk of the milk is wasted due to the very low pasteurizing and packaging capacities of the Department.
The department, according to inside sources, has been a loss-making venture for past 10-12 years due to various reasons. There are only two ageing machines, one each for pasteurization and packaging of milk, at the office of the department at Khapara in the city. Both the machines were brought in 1993, and their capacity fell drastically from 10,000 litres to 1,000 litres a day. Whenever one of the machines is out of order, production has to be stopped for 15 to 20 days, because the rare spare parts of the machines can be procured only through government tenders. Such incidents do have their cascading effects on the production and distribution system of the department. When any of the two machines is out of order, the department has to incur a huge loss, amounting to around Rs 40,000 a day, sources in the department said.
According to sources, the department brought three bulk vending machines around seven months back only to keep them idle. The three machines are left unused as there is no skilled person to install them. Should not those at the helm of affairs in the department have thought of skilled hands for the installation and handling of the three vending machines while purchasing them?
This is not all. The department, according to sources, borrows vehicles from private parties to distribute milk and milk products to customers.
There are 39 milk cooperative societies around the city that are capable of supplying over 30,000 litres of milk daily to the department, but the department can only absorb 1,000 litres. The rest, according to department sources, are either sent to other parties or destroyed. The government has been sanctioning Rs 20 lakh a year since 1970 to the department against its daily cost of Rs 40,000.
Believe it or not, the department has always been headed by directors who are not skilled for the post. According to sources in the department, a director when appointed in the department has to undergo training on the trade from his juniors for about three months. How come one expects a white revolution from a venture under a semiskilled head?