The state won’t allow organisers of the Indian Premier League (IPL) to use potable water to maintain grounds and pitches in Maharashtra, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Friday, adding his government will not object if the matches are moved out of the state.
The CM’s statement comes days after the Bombay high court, while hearing a public interest litigation, termed as “criminal wastage” the use of water to maintain cricket pitches for IPL when the state is reeling under severe water crisis.
On Thursday, the HC allowed Mumbai to host the inaugural match on April 9, but kept hanging in the balance till April 12 the fate of 19 other ties to be held across drought-hit Maharashtra - in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur. It reprimanded the state for wasting water on playgrounds at a time when “people are dying”.
“We have no problem if the organisers decide to move the tournament out of the state. Even if they continue to hold the matches here in Maharashtra, they will not be allowed to use potable water,” he said.
The PIL challenges the use of lakhs of litres of water for grounds, when many parts of the state is facing drought.
At Nagpur, meanwhile, the Vidarbha Cricket Association has said the water for IPL matches at the city’s Jamtha stadium will be sourced from four bore wells and two big wells belonging to the association. “We never take water from any agencies for the ground. We have our own arrangement for water and power supply at the stadium,” said Uday Ranganathan of the VCA, adding that the water used for the ground is not potable.
(With inputs from Pradip Kumar Maitra)