In a double blow to households and sweetshops, the acute shortage in supply and an increase in the price of milk have burnt a hole in the pockets of Ranchiites during the ongoing festive and wedding season.

Officials in the milk industry say the city’s daily requirement is around 1.80 L litres but the Jharkhand State Milk Federation (JSMF) is able to procure and supply only about 1.30L litres.

The managing director of JSMF, Sudhir Kumar Singh, says, “The production of milk is unable to meet the rising demand. The festive and wedding season is one of the primary reasons for the increase in demand. There is also a high demand for around one lakh litres alone from lassi shops throughout the summer season. However, given the shortage of milk, the shops can get only around 40,000 litres.”

He adds, “The cost of milk production has increased by Rs 4 per litre but we have hiked by Rs 2 per litre for JSMF-owned Medha Milk.”

Notably, the price of Sudha Dairy, a product of the Bihar State Milk Cooperative Federation, has also been increased by Rs 2 from April 17. Earlier, a litre of plain toned milk costs Rs 47, up from Rs 45. For a half-litre packet, the price is Rs 24, up from Rs 23. Similarly, full-cream milk costs Rs 26 for a half-litre pouch and Rs 52 for one litre.

Milk retailer Samsher Alam, who owns All-In-One, says one litre of Amul milk is now available for Rs 51, while Sudha Milk costs Rs 52 and Medha Milk costs Rs 54.

Ashwani Kumar Bhatiya of Punjab Sweets House, says, “We are unable to meet the consumers’ demand. The consumption of milk-based sweets is higher during the festive season. After two years of Covid restrictions, we got a chance to turn around our business, but supply has become a hurdle.”

Homemaker Basanti Kumari says, “There was a time when I could go to the store and purchase milk whenever I wanted, but now I have to return empty-handed. Milk will always be in high demand because it’s wholesome food.”

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