Gujarat’s dairy business hit by two nationwide strikes

January 8th, 2009 - 10:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, Jan 8 (IANS) The two ongoing nationwide strikes - one by oil sector employees and the other by truckers - have hit the dairy business in Gujarat badly as most of the processing centres are runing out of furnace oil.The major milk processing cooperative dairies in the state, including Dudhsagar, Banas, Sagar and Amul dairies, do not have sufficient stock of furnace oil to maintain their boilers, officials said.

The Dudhsagar cooperative, which produces 2.2 million litres daily, said its products were piling up at the dairy premises as supply was hit by the truckers’ strike.

Winter is Dudhsagar’s peak milk production and the agitations “could not have come at a worst moment,” K.C. Varma, managing director of Dudhsagar Dairy of Mehsana, said Thursday.

“This crisis should not be allowed to drag on, and an early solution must be found,” he added.

Over six million trucks went off the roads across India in the early hours Monday, with transporters demanding that diesel and tyre prices be lowered, while nearly 45,000 public sector oil companies’ employees went on strike from Wednesday demanding higher wages.

Banas Dairy, the second largest dairy in the state that produces about 1.4 million litres of milk daily, is also faces a similar predicament.

“We have to rely largely on transportation for diesel and furnace oil. Generally, our stock lasts for three to four days,” Banas Dairy managing director Sangramsingh Chaudhary said.

Meanwhile, striking truckers in the state said they would not give up the agitation unless their demands are met.

“The nationwide agitation by the All India Motors Transport Congress would continue indefinitely until better sense prevails in the government,” said Dilipsinh Raolji, vice-president of Akhil Gujarat Truck Transport Association (AGTTA).

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