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The cards belong to consumers who relocated or stopped renewing them every month.

CHENNAI: After unearthing irregularities in job appointments and advertisement expenditure, the TN Milk Producers’ Co-operative Federation (Aavin) administration has now cancelled more than 80,000 milk cards in Chennai, which were allegedly misused by milk vendors in connivance with a section of Aavin employees. The move would help Aavin save Rs 36 lakh per month.

“These vendors used the cards to buy milk at a subsidised rate, and then sold each litre for Rs 3 more than the MRP, making a profit of Rs 5-6 per litre,” said an Aavin employee, adding that the profit was shared with local bigwigs. The cards belong to consumers who relocated or stopped renewing them every month.

Sources said the cartel for misusing the cards was formed in early 2000, when some consumers stopped buying milk directly from depots, and appointed a delivery person, with the knowledge of local vendors, to buy milk on their behalf. Each delivery person handled between 50 and 250 cards, and was paid Rs 40-50 per house.

‘This has reduced daily milk allocation by 40K litres’

“Initially, the Aavin depot staff refused to give large quantities of milk to the delivery agents. But since people insisted, they relented. Over years, when card holders shifted, passed away or didn’t renew cards, they were misused by the vendors,” the Aavin employee explained.

Staff at Aavin depots and zonal offices, who monitor the renewal of cards, allegedly helped the vendors by sharing the details of consumers who don’t regularly renew their cards. Milk cards are to be renewed at the respective Aavin zonal offices between the 1st and 14th of every month. Previous attempts to weed out bogus milk cards (dormant cards) didn’t yield any results.

Aavin asked consumers to furnish their details. This led to 80,000 bogus cards being identified, the Aavin administration said. “It came to light that about 80,000 card holders are not residing in the address updated. All these cards are cancelled. The measure has helped reduce the milk allocation by 40,000 litres a day, thereby saving Rs 36 lakh a month for Aavin,” said Aavin managing director KS Kandasamy said in a press statement.

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