Maharashtra Police has busted a mattress-making factory in District Jalgaon that had been using discarded masks, in place of cotton or other material, to stuff its products. The police filed a case against the owner of the unit and initiated an investigation into the matter.
Cops recovered piles of face masks from the premises of the mattress factory and set them on fire as per the prescribed norms.
The police station at Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) in Jalgaon had been alerted about the racket. Jalgaon is located about 400 km northeast of Mumbai. “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 ASP Gawali.
The production of face masks in India has increased significantly from March of last year when the country was producing 1.5 crore units every day.
The Covid-19 pandemic has burdened India’s already stressed waste management system. Data released by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) reveals that over 18,000 tonnes of coronavirus-related bio-medical waste had been disposed of between June and September 2020 alone, including gloves and face masks.
India is experiencing a devastating second wave of the pandemic, with the country reporting 1.68 lakh new cases of infection on Sunday alone. Maharashtra accounted for 63,294 of these cases along with 349 deaths. The case has surfaced shortly after the state’s Health Minister Rajesh Tope complained that his government was ill-equipped to fight the pandemic because of a shortage of vaccines.
On Monday, India reported over one lakh new cases for the sixth day in a row. India now accounts for one in every six infections reported globally each day.