Alleging that hosting this season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), at a time when the state is facing acute water shortage, is a Roman luxury for Maharashtra, former journalist Ketan Tirodkar has sought court orders to recover Rs1,000 for each litre of water used to make and maintain cricket pitches for the matches in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune.
The PIL also demand extra charges be levied on IPL organizers to meet the expenses for sending water to crisis-hit areas.
“It requires 22 lakh liters of water for making a cricket pitch,” states the PIL. “Additional water is required for maintenance of the pitch,” it states, adding that during the 2013 season of the IPL, 65 lakh litres of water was spent on maintaining pitches at three stadiums – Wankhede in Mumbai, DY Patil stadium in Navi Mumbai and Sahara in Pune district.
His PIL further states owing to the drought, each house in Latur is getting barely 20 litres of water a day. So the state government has decided to send 50 wagons with a capacity of 55,000 litres each daily to Latur district within a fortnight to meet the drinking water requirement of the local population.
“IPL cricket is a Roman luxury for India, especially for Maharashtra,” the PIL states. “Here we have ropes squeezing farmer’s throats for want of rains and at the same time we are hosting the roji-roti of the bookies and dishonest players minting crores on the pitches made of lakhs of litres of water in the time of such crisis, when aged and children as well as pregnant women are transporting small vessels of water from miles together,” the PIL states