Bombay HC: IPL Should Be Moved out of Maharashtra Due to Drought

‘Who wastes water like this?’ asks the bench while asking BCCI to move IPL location. 

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The Bombay High Court on Wednesday has said that ideally the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches should be shifted to a state that isn’t suffering from water shortage.

The BCCI and other cricket associations in Maharashtra have been pulled up for wasting water for maintaining pitches while the entire state reels under severe drought.

Only if water supply to BCCI is cut, you will understand.
Bombay High Court


Maharashtra is facing a major drought. (Photo Courtesy: Subrata Biswas/Greenpeace)
Maharashtra is facing a major drought. (Photo Courtesy: Subrata Biswas/Greenpeace)

The court also told the state that ultimately it is the government’s responsibility and duty to do something about this (water wastage) and impose some kind of restraint.
It also asked the state government to spell out the steps it plans to take on the issue.

How can you (cricket associations and BCCI) waste water like this? People are more important or your IPL matches? How can you be so careless? Who wastes water like this? This is criminal wastage. You know what the condition is in Maharashtra. 
Justices VM Kanade and MS Karnik, Division Bench

The division bench said this while hearing a PIL filed by NGO ‘Loksatta Movement’.

The court also asked whether according to BCCI and the other cricket bodies, cricket matches are more important.

Ideally, you should shift the IPL matches to some other state where water is in abundance. 
Bombay High Court
Rohit Sharma practicing at Wankhede stadium. (Photo: Twitter/<a href="https://twitter.com/BCCI">@BCCI</a>)
Rohit Sharma practicing at Wankhede stadium. (Photo: Twitter/@BCCI)

The HC, while posting the PIL for hearing on Wednesday, had on Monday, sought responses from all other respondents, including the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Vidarbha Cricket Association, Maharashtra government and the civic bodies of Mumbai and Nagpur.

The PIL has challenged the use of nearly 60 lakh litres of water to maintain pitches at three stadiums in the state which will hold IPL matches.

The court asked the Mumbai Cricket Association how much water would be used in Wankhede stadium, MCA’s advocate said:

Over 40 lakh litres water will be used for the 7 IPL matches to be held at Wankhede.

The petitioner then said that pending hearing of the PIL, the court should grant an interim order restraining all the cricket associations in Maharashtra from using water to maintain the pitches. The HC will consider this during the hearing on Thursday.

The court also asked state acting Advocate General Rohit Deo to appear for the state government in the matter on Thursday.
Over 40 lakh litres water will be used for the seven IPL matches to be held at Wankhede. (Photo: Twitter/<a href="https://twitter.com/BCCI">@BCCI</a>)
Over 40 lakh litres water will be used for the seven IPL matches to be held at Wankhede. (Photo: Twitter/@BCCI)

Water in Wankhede

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s advocate Trupti Puranik told the high court on Wednesday that they are supplying water to Wankhede stadium only for drinking purposes.

MCA’s advocate told the court that they are purchasing water to maintain the pitches.

This water is non-portable and cannot be used for drinking purposes. He also said that the association will come out with some contingency plan to tackle the water crisis.

Villagers Are Suffering

The advocate appearing for the petitioner, however, said several villages in Maharashtra do not even have water for sanitation, cooking and other purposes. This non-portable water could be of use in such villages.

The court also observed that the water shortage is not limited to the Marathwada region, the situation is equally bad in Thane, adjoining Mumbai.
A women walks through Khomnal Village pond at Mangalwheda taluk, Solapur district in Maharashtra. (Photo Courtesy: Subrata Biswas/Greenpeace)
A women walks through Khomnal Village pond at Mangalwheda taluk, Solapur district in Maharashtra. (Photo Courtesy: Subrata Biswas/Greenpeace)

The petitioner’s lawyer then pointed out that from 5 to 9 April, there will be absolutely no water supply in Thane.

The court also noted that in some places in Maharashtra, prohibitory orders under section 144 has been imposed in the vicinity of water supply spots.

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