Hubballi-Dharwad: KMF to install milk vending machines

According to sources in the KMF, the federation supplies more than one lakh litres of Nandini milk in 1.70 lakh to 1.80 lakh milk sachets across the twin cities every day.

The Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) and Hubballi-Dharwad Mahanagara Palike (HDMP) are on a space hunt at 133 locations in the twin cities to install milk vending machines.

The installation of the milk vending machines will not only address the pollution caused by the plastic sachets of milk but will also provide fresh milk at a considerably low price, the KMF and HDMP officials said.

According to sources in the KMF, they supply more than one lakh litres of Nandini milk in 1.70 lakh to 1.80 lakh milk sachets across the twin cities every day. An equal number of sachets of private milk dairies add to the pollution problems of Hubballi-Dharwad, they added. 

Currently, these virgin plastic sachets, which are of high quality and meet the food safety standards, are discarded unscientifically and are one of the major sources of pollution. Both the government agencies have now decided to tackle the issue and alternative measures will be in place by December 20. 

The KMF is looking at many alternatives, like increasing the sale of tetra pack milk, combi-pack, and Goodlife milk. It is also contemplating setting up one milk vending machine at every half-a-kilometre distance.

KMF Dharwad Managing Director Suresh Naik told DH, "We are looking at 133 locations to set up these milk vending machines to supply fresh milk to the consumers. The machines can pump out 100 ml, 250 ml, 500 ml, one litre, etc."

Naik said private agencies will install the milk vending machines and the maintenance of cleanliness and hygiene is the responsibility of the KMF. "This, however, is in a 'dream concept' stage," he added. 

He also said the cooperation from the public is important as they have to walk to the milk vending machines to fetch milk. Such experiments, conducted in Bengaluru and other places since 1985, have received a mixed response, he added. 

As a pilot project, the KMF and HDMP are planning to install these machines at 18 locations in Dharwad and 24 locations in Hubballi.

HDMP Commissioner Suresh Itnal said, "We will provide them (KMF) the required land. It may not be the exact location they are seeking, but certainly near it." 

He added that milk supplying agencies will not be allowed to supply milk in sachets after December 20 and they have been asked to come up with an alternative method.

During a recent meeting held on Extended Producers' Responsibility at the HDMP, the officials have made it clear that it is the responsibility of producers, suppliers, dealers, and vendors to mitigate the use of plastic and ensure that they are either reduced or reused, under the Solid Waste Management Rules and Plastic Waste Management Rules of 2016. 

Itnal said, "They have been asked to form agencies of producers responsibility organisations and ensure that all the plastic covers used are scientifically collected and disposed of. Violators will attract a penalty." 

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