Brand-new DELHI: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) got a big relief after Bombay High Court, while hearing a PIL filed by NGO ‘Loksatta Movement over water wastage in Maharashtra when the state is reeling under severe drought, refused to give the stay, giving a go ahead to the very first match of the upcoming ninth season of Indian Premier League (IPL) to be held on April 9 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
The high court likewise asked the Maharashtra government to file their reply by April 12 on sources of water to be supplied to stadiums. Mumbai Indians will take on Rising Pune Supergiants in the the opening match of IPL 9. A decision on the remaining 19 matches scheduled in Maharashtra has actually been kept pending while the matter has actually been posted for further hearing on April 12.
Earlier on Wednesday, The HC rapped the BCCI and cricket associations in Maharashtra and Mumbai over water wastage and said ideally IPL matches must be shifted elsewhere, where there is no water crisis.
“Only if water supply to BCCI is cut, you will understand,” the court observed.
“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,” a division bench headed by Justices V M Kanade and M S Karnik said, while hearing a PIL filed by NGO ‘Loksatta Movement’.
The court likewise asked whether according to BCCI and the other cricket bodies, cricket matches are more important.
“Ideally, you must shift the IPL matches to some other state where water is in abundance,” the court observed.
The court likewise 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.
The PIL has actually 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 certainly be used in Wankhede stadium, to which MCA’s advocate said they would certainly be using over 40 lakh litres water for the seven IPL matches to be held there.
To this, the court said it is a huge number.
The petitioner then said that pending hearing of the PIL, the court must grant an interim order restraining all the cricket associations in Maharashtra from using water to maintain the pitches.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s advocate Trupti Puranik told the high court 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 likewise said that the association will come out along with some contingency plan to tackle the water crisis.
The advocate appearing for the petitioner, however, said several villages in Maharashtra do not even have actually water for sanitation, cooking and other purposes. This non-portable water could be of use in such villages.
The court likewise observed that water shortage is not just in Marathwada region, the situation is equally bad in Thane, adjoining Mumbai.
The petitioner’s lawyer then pointed out that from April 5 to 9, there will be absolutely no water supply in Thane.
The court likewise noted that in some places in Maharashtra, prohibitory orders under section 144 has actually been imposed in the vicinity of water supply spots.
Notably, authorities in Parbhani town and Latur in the parched Marathwada region of the state, which is experiencing an unprecedented water scarcity this summer, have actually imposed prohibitory orders near water supply spots in the town.