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Bombay HC feels watering Cricket pitches in drought hit Maharashtra is criminal wastage of Water

April,6,2016:

How can you be so careless and waste Water like this, Bombay HC questions BCCI.

Watering the Pitches
Watering the Pitches

The Bombay high court on Wednesday termed as “criminal wastage” the use of water to maintain cricket pitches for the Indian Premier League (IPL) when Maharashtra is facing a drought-like situation and suggested shifting matches out of the state.

The court made the observation while hearing a public interest litigation filed by an NGO against hosting of IPL matches by the state.

The ninth edition of the cash-rich but controversy-ridden T20 tournament is scheduled to be held from April 9 to May 29 in different venues across the country. Maharashtra is slated to host 20 matches in Mumbai, Nagpur and Pune.

The T20 league, with an Rs 20,000 crore estimated brand value and boasting of Bollywood stars and major conglomerates as investors, has been dogged by corruption allegations for years.

“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 VM Kanade and MS Karnik said.

Taking a serious view of the matter, the bench added, “Ideally, you should shift the IPL matches to some other state where water is in abundance.”

The bench observed that it was the state’s duty to preserve and prioritise the usage of water in times of crisis.

“Only if water supply to BCCI is cut, you will understand,” the court said it stinging criticism of the Board of Control for Cricket in India that organises the highly popular tournament.

The bench directed the acting advocate general to appear before it on Thursday and explain the state’s stand.

The PIL by NGO Loksatta Movement has urged the court to direct the authorities to change the venue of IPL matches that are scheduled to be held in Maharashtra. The petition filed through advocate Ankita Verma said about 60 lakh litres of water will be used to maintain the pitches and play area in three stadia.

The court asked the Mumbai Cricket Association how much water would be used in Wankhede stadium, to which MCA’s advocate said they would be using over 40 lakh litres water for the seven IPL matches to be held there.

“It is a huge number,” the court said.
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 NGO also said several villages in Maharashtra do not even have water for sanitation, cooking and other purposes. HT

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