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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Edition 12: Resourceful Tourist Spot

Anyone interested in the milk and milk products is bound to visit the Aarey Colony in Mumbai. This is a pioneering dairy plant in India and has contributed immensely in the development of dairy business in Maharashtra.
Aarey Milk Colony was established in year 1949. On March 4, 1951, Central Dairy, Aarey was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The Central Dairy, Aarey was constructed for processing and packing of milk which was collected from Aarey Milk Colony and to supply same to consumer of Mumbai city. This Dairy is pioneer of it's kind in entire Asia. After 1970, milk produced in mofussil area was also received in this dairy. It distribute milk in western suburbs of Mumbai City.
The history of the Aarey Plant dates back to Second World War when Municipal Corporation of Mumbai started milk distribution system to prevent of malnutrition pregnant ladies and children due to food shortage. This scheme was operational till 1946. After that civil supply department was operating this scheme.
As there were no facilities for boiling the milk, raw milk was supplied to British soldiers, officers, and employees. They were not used to drink raw milk which created health problem for them. The cattle sheds of Mumbai were in unhygienic conditions and rearing/nursing of cattle was done in unscientific ways. Due to this health problems surfaced in the nearby locality. To rehabilitate cattle shed of Mumbai in a more scientific way and to encourage clean milk production, in the year 1947, Aarey Milk Colony was established on a land of 1300 acres. .
To enable the citizens to get the pasteurized milk, in the year 1952 Asia's first dairy at Aarey was established. Now this has become a place to visit and see. Not surprisingly, Maharashtra government is planning to develop dairy tourism on the sprawling land belonging to Aarey Milk Dairy in Mumbai, Animal Husbandry, according to dairy development and Fisheries Minister Nitin Raut. The minister informed the Legislative Council in December that the proposal has been put before the cabinet for approval.
Aarey milk plant is the first in Asia to modernise the milk culture in the country through pasteurised and bottled milk supply. After doing chilling at centralised chilling facilities, the milk is transported to the milk plants in cans or tanks. However, nowadays tankers are more frequently used than the cans.
Milk is collected from the farm every 24 or 48 hours. After reaching the milk plants the process of pasteurisation and homogenisation takes place. There are two HTST pasteurisers and two homogenisers connected in series with them. The capacity of each pasteurizer and homogeniser is 5000 litres per hour.
At the entrance of the Aarey Colony there is a hill on which a special observation pavilion has been built. From the pavilion one gets a wide view of the entire colony and of the beautiful surrounding country. Besides the attractively built pavilion, where there are charts and maps showing the lay-out of the colony and explaining the scheme, very pretty lawns and gardens have also been laid out on the hill which add to the charm of the place.
The main attraction of the visitors is an inspection bungalow of the colony which is reputed to be the largest in Asia and one of the best of its kind in the world. Close to the Aarey colony has been developed a picnic spot. In order to assist holiday makers and encourage them in their outings, various shady spots have been especially prepared with arrangements for a stove, wooden seats round shade-spreading trees, and lawns. There are twelve such spots. Many of them also command excellent views. Facilities have also been provided for the canteen which serves snacks and meals and of course milk to the visitors. It is frequented by a number of visitors especially during the fair season. A number of BEST buses ply towards these spots.
According to, Babanrao Pachpute, minister for forest in the state cabinet, a zoological park of international standards will come up at the Aarey Milk colony. As per the forest department's proposal, the zoological park would come up over an area of 300 acres and birds, reptiles, marine life and animals would be kept in huge enclosures that would be very similar to a natural habitat. The zoological park would have parking area over a 2.5 acres plot. However, the project is delayed because of some hurdles.

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