Civic officials said they have no way to check whether potable water is being used for the upkeep of the Wankhede Stadium grounds but added the BMC supplies 20,000 litres of potable water to the stadium daily.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said the government would not allow organisers of the Indian Premier League to use potable water for the ground, but civic authorities are wondering how to ensure the water used is not potable as piped drinking water is not used to water the ground and pitch.
“We used to supply 25,000 litres of water every day to Wankhede, which houses the Mumbai Cricket Association and their club. Following the 20% water cut, it has been reduced to 20,000 litres. They have to arrange their own supply if they want additional water during the matches. For maintenance of the cricket ground, they source water privately. However, we have no mechanism to check whether the water used for the grounds is potable or not,” said a senior civic official, who did not wish to be named as the entire issue is now sensitive.
The official added municipal tankers are not directed to the stadium, even during the IPL matches.
How much exactly is 20,000 litres of water, which is being supplied to Wankhede? On an average, an individual uses about 135 litres of water a day, according to a civic source. This means the water supplied to the stadium, even after 20% water cut, would fulfil the daily requirement of approximately 148 people.
The water for the maintenance of the ground is procured through private tankers, which mostly carries nonpotable water, Mumbai Cricket Association’s lawyer told the high court while it was hearing a petition on wastage of water in maintaining the grounds.
However, for citizens who line up every day for water tankers in slums in areas such as Ghatkopar, Mulund, Bhuleshwar, Kurla for water, this piece of information is hardly to rejoice for.
The NGO Loksatta Movement had said the association was using 60,000 litres of water daily to maintain the playground for hosting the IPL. Even if the water is non-potable (not suitable for drinking), 60,000 litres of water daily can suffice 444 people’s water requirement.
Following the declining level of water in borewells, the civic body is now preparing a list of private water tankers it has given permission to and their source of water.
“Potable water is not supplied through tankers. We transport potable water in the city only during emergency situations such as pipeline bursts and that is also done through municipal tankers and not private tankers,” said an official with the civic body’s hydraulic department.