It was during the 1950’s that the “Milkman of India” Dr. Kurien Verghese revolutionized the dairy industry in the country. It was during this period that an entrepreneur named Dara Khurody in Mumbai city decided to change the face of the dairy industry by setting up the Aarey Milk Colony situated in the suburb of Goregaon. Over the years this colony has gained a reputation of being a landmark in Mumbai. So, here is presenting a few vital facts of the Aarey Milk Colony that one needs to know when visiting “maximum city”.
a. The “vision” behind creating the Aarey Milk Colony:
It was during the 1950’s that the dairy industry in India was revolutionized by Dr. Verghese Kurien. Known as the “Milkman of India” Verghese help set up the “world’s largest dairy development program”. It was during this period that an entrepreneur named Dara Khurody decided to bring radical changes to the way dairy products were processed and marketed in Mumbai city. And so, he established a “milk colony” known as Aarey in Goregaon East. It was eventually inaugurated by the then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru in the year 1951.
b. The “settlements” that form the whole Aarey Milk Colony:
This colony was created by “fusing” 12 small hamlets. They included Sai, Gundgav, Royal Palms, Dindoshi, Aarey, Goregaon, Pahadi, Vyraval, Kondivita, Maroshi, Parjapur, and Paspoli. Furthermore, this colony essentially covers an area of approximately 16 km. It was in 1977 that about 490 acres of land was donated from this colony to set up the renowned movie studio complex “Film City”.
c. The area that the Aarey Milk Colony covers and the reason behind its set up:
“3,166 acres” is the total area of land that this landmark colony in the city of Mumbai covers. About 400 acres of land is used mainly for cultivating quality fodder and grass for the cattle that is bred. Furthermore, land in this colony has been leased out to both the state and central government. For example, a total of 230 acres has been leased to institutions such as the Central poultry farm and Modern bakery belonging to the central government while, 730 acres have been leased to state government institutions such as the Film City, Mumbai Veterinary College, MAHDA, and MCGB. In addition, this colony is said to have been established with a few key objectives in mind. They are as follows:
- To shift the cattle/buffalo from the limits of this city.
- To ensure high quality supply of milk at a cheaper cost to the citizens of Mumbai.
- To maintain animals according to scientific techniques used in modern day animal husbandry.
d. The “Animal Husbandry” Scheme at the Aarey Milk Colony:
“1700 indigenous cross bred cows” is available at four dairy unit farms located in this colony under the Animal Husbandry scheme. It was from within this herd of cross bred cattle that farmers belonging to daily co-operatives in Maharashtra are supplied with cows to stimulate milk production. These cross bred herds are also studied closely to understand the impact effect of cross breeding. Furthermore, the result obtained from the above study helps in providing farmers with useful insights on the kind of cross breeding techniques that they could use. In other words, this Animal Husbandry Scheme set up in the colony enables farmers plan for the future.
e. How do you reach Aarey Milk Colony?
The closest railway station available to this milk colony is in Goregaon at a distance of 5 km. There are a number of BEST buses from Goregaon railway station such as 326, 341, 450, 451, 460, 479 that passes through this colony which can also be used.
f. Things to do at Aarey Milk Colony?
Since the environment surrounding this colony is ‘green and beautiful’ it is an ideal spot for ‘jogging and walking’. Furthermore, there are number of spots located around this colony worth visiting, and they include: Chhota Kashmir, Kashmir Lake, Aarey picnic pond, and milk factory.
Having changed the face of dairy production and marketing in the Mumbai city, the Aarey Milk Colony has over the years become a landmark that one cannot ignore.