The Bombay high court asked the BCCI on Tuesday if it was willing to shift out some of the eight IPL matches scheduled to be held in Pune.
The cricket board informed the court that Kings XI Punjab franchise was considering moving its three home matches out of Nagpur to Mohali in Punjab.
Parts of Maharashtra are battling severe drought, with the Marathwada region being the worst affected. Fearing water loss to maintain the ground, activists have demanded shifting matches out of the state in view of the crisis.
A bench led by Justice VM Kanade also asked the BCCI whether it was willing to make a donation to the chief minister’s drought relief fund, and if yes then to what extent, and whether it was willing to donate the lakhs of litres of non-potable water that it procures from private tankers and other sources for the maintenance of Wankhede stadium to some of the drought-affected villages.
Though the BCCI orally consented to all of the above, the court has directed it to confirm in writing by Wednesday.
HC has also directed Kings XI Punjab to become a party to the ongoing hearing and confirm its decision on shifting the matches out of Nagpur.
Earlier on Tuesday, the BCCI had told the high court that it will only use sewage water to maintain the pitches and stadia in Mumbai and Pune.
Appearing for the BCCI, senior counsel Rafiq Dada told the high court that following the last hearing, the cricket associations had entered into an agreement with the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) whereby the club will provide water out of its sewage treatment plant for the pitches.
As per the agreement, beginning Tuesday, RWITC will provide seven to eight tankers of water each day till May end to maintain the pitches in Mumbai and Pune for the 17 matches that are to be held in the two cities.
Advocate Dada also brought along a bottle of the “grey coloured” sewage water from the turf club’s Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) to prove that it couldn’t be used for any other purpose.
“The court’s harsh words in the last hearing proved good as we have taken the issue very seriously. The cricket associations had an internal meeting and then wrote to RWITC. This water from their STP in Mahalaxmi merely goes into the sea after treatment. It cannot be used for any other purpose. Thus, we can use it for IPL,” Dada said.
While the court accepted the above statements, a bench has now directed BCCI to get an undertaking from RWITC to the above affect.
The court will continue the hearing on Wednesday.