Mumbai BJP Secretary Vivekananda Gupta has demanded that Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches scheduled to be played in Maharashtra should be shifted out of the state due to prevailing drought conditions.
Gupta, in a letter addressed to BCCI President Shashank Manohar, said that a standard watering session of a cricket field requires a minimum of 80,000 to 1,00,000 litres.
Approximately two to three such sessions are required per week, which comes up to 1,60,000 to 3,00,000 litres of water to maintain turf growth and repair damaged areas, he was quoted in a statement issued in Mumbai on Sunday.
19 IPL matches are slated to be played at Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur between April 9 and May 29. The final match of the tournament is to be held at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on May 29.
The BJP leader said more water was needed during hot and windy conditions and less during winter conditions. Thus, more than 70 lakh litres of water will be required to maintain the grounds for the 19 matches.
The BJP leader further stated the state, from where the BCCI President hails from, is facing one of its worst droughts in the last one century.
“Rainfall in last two years in Marathwada and Vidharbha region was the lowest. Successive low rainfall has resulted in falling ground water levels, which has impacted 90 lakh farmers in the state,” he said.
Gupta said the BCCI president cannot turn a blind eye to the grim drought situation in the state and the sufferings of the farmers.
“When our state is affected by drought, will it be wise to waste 70 lakh litres of water? Even Mumbai faces acute water shortage. This is the time to show sympathy to our ‘annadatta’ (farmer). I hope you will support and sympathise with our farmers and shift the venue of IPL matches to other states,” he said.