The country’s capital Delhi is becoming ground zero in the battle over dairy business. Interestingly, three dairy unions – Mehsana, Sabarkantha and Banaskantha affiliated to the dairy cooperative major Gujarat cooperative milk marketing federation (GCMMF) are involved in the smack down. The GCMMF’s members are fighting over the country’s biggest milk market worth Rs.9000 crore annually.
Of the total Amul milk marketed in Delhi-NCR, roughly half is being supplied by Mehsana and the remaining half each by Banaskantha and Sabarkantha. In 2004, the Mehsana union set up a dairy plant at Manesar near Gurgaon. In 2012, it set up another plant at Dharuhera, not far away from Manesar. The Mehsana union now supplies 8.5 LLPD from Manesar and 5 LLPD from the Dharuhera unit.
GCMMF’s Managing Director Rs. Sodhi’s says no union can claim sole right in supplying to Delhi-NCR. After all, as many as five unions – Kaira, Valsad, Panchmahal, Surat and Bharuch – contribute to the 13 LLPD of Amul milk sold in Mumbai.
According to him, the Mehsana union had put up its Dharuhera dairy without taking the GCMMF board into confidence: “They never sought our approval for this fresh capacity over and above that in Manesar. And they now expect the entire Amul milk for Delhi-NCR to be processed at their dairies.” Sodhi noted.
The confrontation between the Mehsana and Banaskantha/Sabarkantha unions in the country’s most lucrative milk market is likely to intensify, as the latter have set up their own dairies in the NCR dispensing with the need for private job-work processing.
Sources say Mehsana dairy union’s chairman Vipul Chaudhary is trying to politicise the milk war waging in the capital claiming prime minister Modi , Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel and BJP president Amit Shah all of them have ties with Mehsana. At this juncture when the member unions of the GCMMF are getting involved in internecine fights sources feel a towering personality like Vegese Kurien who commanded universal respect could work as a moderating influence.