The Vadodara civic body has demolished four milk parlours of Amul, an act criticised by the dairy giant which said the exercise was undertaken without prior notice and for unknown reasons. Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which markets the Amul brand of milk and milk products, today said the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) demolished its four parlours without notice yesterday.
It said the Gujarat High Court granted a stay on the demolition of another nine parlours constructed by the GCMMF in public gardens across Vadodara after getting permission from VMC in 2015.
“A VMC committee had passed a resolution and thereafter permission was granted in 2015 to construct 21 Amul parlours in public gardens across Vadodara. We surveyed the sites and paid necessary deposits and constructed parlours at 13 locations,” GCMMF Managing Director R S Sodhi said.
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“However, for reasons unknown to Amul, and without any prior notice or intimation, four parlours were demolished by VMC. This caused a loss of Rs 40 lakh to milk farmers who own these outlets and also to consumers,” Sodhi said.
“Today we moved the High Court against this act of VMC and it passed an order staying any further demolition,” he said.
However, Vinod Rao, VMC Commissioner, defended the action of the civic body.
In a statement in Vadodara, he said the Amul parlours were constructed without permission.
“Amul, to save its face, has unfortunately made gross misrepresentation of facts involving criminal breach of trust. No formal agreement was signed (between VMC and Amul) and many conditions of (space) allotment were violated,” he said.
“They agreed to remove structures on their own to avoid confrontation with VMC. All four shops were vacated by franchisees on their own under instructions from Amul officials and not VMC officials,” Rao said.
“It is unfortunate that a prestigious brand like Amul has stooped so low as to grossly violate rules and regulations and then defend itself by making allegations against VMC,” the civic commissioner maintained.
The razed parlours were located in Alkapuri, Badamadi Baug, Khanderao Market and Railway Station area.