Angry dairy farmers empty Omfed tanker in Bargarh; milk floods streets

Bargarh: The road near Gandhi Square here was literally flooded with milk on Thursday when some agitating dairy farmers halted a milk tanker of the State-owned Omfed and opened the valve of the vehicle spilling more than 14,000 litres of milk on to the streets.

As milk flowed on the streets, some people were seen taking a ‘milk bath’ near the open tap of the tanker.

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The incident happened when milk farmers of Bheden and Atabira Societies were protesting against the refusal of the Omfed authorities to accept milk on the grounds of adulteration today. They were protesting by pouring their milk onto the road near Gandhi Square. At this moment, the Omfed tanker carrying milk from Barpali society was returning to the Omfed plant. The protesting farmers stopped the vehicle and opened the valve of the tank resulting in free flow of milk on the road.

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Kishore Kumar Nayak, GM, Omfed Sambalpur, told OTV, “The farmers of the Bheden and Atabira societies were supplying adulterated milk. Earlier, we had warned them about the same. Today, we sent back 8,000-9,000 litres of milk brought by the farmers of these societies.”

Asked about the kind of adulteration in milk, Nayak stated, “The milk was having sugar and salt. Earlier also, we had told about the adulteration to the farmers.”

He added, “The agitating farmers poured the milk brought by them onto the road and later opened the valve of the tanker resulting in damage of 6,000 litres of milk. Therefore, 14,000 lires of milk were damaged, not 30,000 litres of milk as said.”

Nayak said, “I have already talked to the farmers and asked them not to include people adulterating milk in their societies,” adding the Omfed doesn’t have a shortage of milk in Bargarh.

Meanwhile, farmers alleged that the rejection of milk brought by the farmers to the Omfed had been a daily affair and today was the outburst of the suppressed anger.

Lingaraj, a farmers’ leader, said, “Omfed has been taking the refusal policy for the past few days and today was the outburst of the farmers’ anger. Besides, the Omfed is not accepting 30% of total milk brought by the farmers. The Omfed’s decision today was shocking for farmers the plant did not accept the whole quantity of milk citing poor quality.”

He added, “Action should be taken by the Omfed against the farmers who are adulterating not banish a whole area. The farmers are not at fault anyway. It is the sole responsibility of Omfed to take action against the farmers who are adulterating the milk.”

On the other hand, Omfed managing director directed the company’s local officials to file FIR against the people who opened the valve of the tanker resulting into damage of the milk brought from dairy farmers.