Jalgaon police have busted a mattress-making factory in Maharashtra’s Jalgaon district for using discarded masks, in place of cotton or other material, to stuff its products. The police have filed a case against the owner of the unit and launched a probe.
They also recovered piles of masks on the premises. Officials at the police station at the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), Jalgaon, around 400 kilometres northeast of capital Mumbai, were informed of the alleged racket being carried out at the Maharashtra Mattress Centre. “When the officials visited the premises of the factory in Kusumba village of MIDC, they found a mattress being stuffed with used masks,” said Additional Superintendent of Police Chandrakant Gawali.
“A case was registered against the factory owner, Amjad Ahmed Mansoori. The police are now probing the involvement of others in the racket,” said Gawali.
The police then set on fire the piles of used masks lying around the premises according to the prescribed norms. Mask production in India has by now surged from the 1.5 crore units a day capacity in March 2020. The pandemic has burdened India’s already stressed waste management system. It generated over 18,000 tonnes of Covid-19 related bio-medical waste between June and September 2020 alone, including gloves and face masks, according to Central Pollution Control Board data. India is experiencing a ferocious second wave of the pandemic, with some 1.68 lakh new cases of infection reported yesterday in the highest day surge. Maharashtra alone reported 63,294 of these, with 349 deaths.
Today was the sixth consecutive day India reported over a lakh daily cases. The country currently leads the world in the daily average number of new infections reported in more than two weeks, accounting for one in every six infections reported globally each day.