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Milk, eggs meant for free distribution to AP kids flood Odisha markets

BERHAMPUR: Milk packets and eggs from Andhra Pradesh meant for free distribution among poor kids have flooded the markets in bordering districts of Odisha. Vendors in Gajapati, Rayagada and Kandhamal districts are openly selling the milk packets for Rs 45 per litre.

Since the milk’s quality is good and price less, it has become a favourite of local tea stall owners. Local traders claimed that on an average, 1,500 packets of the free milk from Andhra Pradesh reaches markets of the three districts daily.

The packets carry an image of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy. It is clearly mentioned in the packets that the milk is not for sale and meant for free distribution to kids aged between seven months to six years.

However, the packets, each of 180 ml, are easily available in shops of Gunupur, Rayagada, Kotgarh, Durgapanga, Bondapipili, Tumudibandha, Paralakhemundi and Kasingar.

Similarly, eggs marked with AP logo for free distribution among anganwadi kids are also being allegedly trafficked to Odisha districts for sale. The traders are erasing the logo and selling the eggs to shopkeepers for a rupee less that the market price.

The locals too are happy to buy the eggs due to the less price. Sources said the Andhra Pradesh government is providing 11 litre of packaged milk and 16 eggs to each kid for 45 days through anganwadi workers. Some unscrupulous traders are illegally transporting the milk packets and eggs to Odisha and selling them in the local markets here.

Contacted, an officer of the Child Development department of Andhra Pradesh on condition of anonymity said the traders involved in smuggling the free milk and eggs are under the radar of the Andhra Pradesh government. Efforts are underway to bust the racket.

While the administration is yet to initiate any action against the illegal practice in Rayagada and Kandhamal districts, Gajapati Collector Lingaraj Panda said he has directed the Civil Supplies officials to probe the matter. Strict action would be taken against the traders involved in the illegal trade, he added.