Chennai: A petition has been filed in the Madras high court, challenging the recent hike of milk prices by Aavin.
The petitioner, advocate A.P. Surya Prakasam, submitted that Aavin milk has been a most trusted brand in TN. Among others, poor people and medical community have great faith in Aavin as it was supplying clean and hygienic milk. Aavin supplies over 20 lakhs litres of milk in the state and of this, 11 lakh litres are supplied to residents in Chennai.
In September 2014, Aavin had announced its decision to hike the price of milk by Rs 10 per litre stating that Aavin had been facing a huge revenue loss due to its commitment of providing milk at a cheaper price.
However, the police in Villupuram district on September 19, 2014 busted a racket involving siphoning off Aavin milk to private milk operators. As per rough estimate, the gang led by S. Vaithiyanathan stole milk worth Rs 23 lakh per day since 2004. They had diverted nearly Aavin milk worth Rs 80 crore per year. Investigation relating to the scam has been going on, the petitioner said.
Vaithiyanathan colluding with Aavin officials was indulged in the racket. Aavin officials went extra mile to appease him and changed rules to suit his loot. In 2008, Aavin effected a crucial policy change in procuring milk and they had decided to procure milk solid non-fat (SNF) content from 8.6 to 7.9 SNF. This had helped them to supply adulterated milk to its consumer without detection.
During this period, Aavin had penalised its consumer by effecting steep hike in the milk price. This had caused heavy burden to the people especially the poor. Instead of punishing the corrupt officials and recovering the stolen money, consumers were forced to pay for losses incurred by Aavin, he said. In spite of opposition from consumers, Aavin had hiked the milk price.