The Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to ensure that all milk vans are fitted with lactometers and other necessary equipment within four months to test the milk quality at procurement points. The first bench, comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice J Nisha Banu passed the order recently on a PIL by Kumar, President of TYD Co-operative Milk Producers Society in Tuticorin district. The bench directed the Secretary, Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries Development Department and Managing Director of Co-operative Milk Producers Federation in Madhavaram here to comply with its direction within four months from the date of receipt of the order.
The petitioner sought a direction to the officials to ensure transparency in society-wise milk collection through installation of milk scanner and weighing machines in vans to check the quality and quantity of the milk produced, on the spot. The bench said, “Milk is an essential commodity. The ultimate consumers are primarily children, apart from the sick, the convalescent and others in need of nutrition. The consumers have a right to be supplied with milk of requisite standard.” “To pinpoint the source of adulteration and manipulation, it is imperative that the quality and quantity of milk be checked at the first point and thereafter again before packaging,” it noted.
“Testing the quality of milk by use of Lactometer or Milk scanner takes minutes and we are unable to accept the submission that such devices cannot be installed, because it will cause delay,” the court said. Referring to an alleged incident of refusal to mark the quantity of milk supplied by one of the societies, the petitioner claimed that one S Velmurugan, Special officer of Aavin Milk Chilling Centre in Kovilpatti in Tuticorin district, was indulging in malpractices and had sought action against him. The petioner claimed that he also made a representation to the higher officials which did not evoke any response and hence he filed the PIL.