Govt slips on dairy plant, Amul sneaks ahead

Kanpur: Gujarat co-operative body buys 40 acres to set up state's biggest milk processing plant

While the Samajwadi Party government's plan to set up a dairy plant near Lucknow with milk-processing capacity of 5 lakh litre a day is yet to take off, the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) will set up a milk processing plant of double capacity in Kanpur. It will be the largest milk processing plant in the state and will market products of Amul brand.

The GCMMF has bought 40 acres of land in Jainpur industrial area of Kanpur Dehat to set up the plant with an investment of Rs 125 crore. UP State Industrial Development Corporation Joint Managing Director Sushil Kumar Yadav said,"GCMMF has paid some amount and is likely to start work at the site soon."

GCMMF managing director R S Sodhi told The Indian Express that the dairy plant might be completed in one-and-a-half years. Sodhi said GCMMF had been trying to launch the project in UP for more than one year, but it got land only recently. Sodhi and other GCMMF officials had met top officials of the UP government two weeks back.

Sodhi said GCMMF will take milk for processing from local farmers of UP. Earlier, they had planned to bring milk from Gujarat.

While GCMMF has aggressive plans, the UP government-owned Pradeshik Cooperative Development Dairy Federation Limited (PCDDF), which processes milk and markets its products with the brand name Parag, is losing market share. Several district units of PCCDF are running in loss and the government has recently engaged Ahmedabad-based National Institute of Design to redesign the packaging of Parag products and make it attractive.

Plans for a dairy plant of 5 lakh litre daily capacity, for which the government has identified 25 acres at Chak Ganjaria farm in Lucknow, remain on paper. On September 3, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had laid the foundation stone of the plant with much fanfare, and it was announced that the project would be completed before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections so that it could be showcased as an achievement of the SP government.

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