The Bombay High Court on 6 April criticised the Boar of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)and Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) for wasting precious water on pitch maintenance in the IPL-9 matches to be held in Maharashtra and suggested moving them out of the state.
“Are people more important or IPL?” the court asked. ” This is criminal wastage. You know what the condition are is in Maharashtra,” asked a division bench headed by Justice VM Kanade and M S Karnik.
The Loksatta Movement field the PIL. It said that to water the pitches in the state, nearly 60 lakh litres of water would be used during the 20 odd matches to be held in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur during Indian Premier League-9 (IPL-9).
During the Kumbh Mela in Nashik, the high court had passed a judgment to stop water for Shahi Snan, saying it violates Article 21 of the Constitution, as water was scant due to drought there.
The counsel appearing for MCA said they were using non-potable water for maintenance of the pitches which they had got through tankers.
As per the policy, water should be first given for domestic use then industrial, agricultural, environment and others, argued advocates of the petitioners.
MCA, in its defense, said the tickets have already been sold and moving games out of the venue now would result in huge losses.
The court asked the government to inform them of the measures they will take to check water wastage.
The high court will hear the matter on 7 April and consider if water supplied by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation needs to be controlled to be used for maintenance of the cricket pitches.