The Bombay High Court on Tuesday posed some uncomfortable questions to the BCCI on whether Indian Premier League (IPL) matches should be played in Maharashtra in view of the grim water situation in large parts of the state.
A division bench of Justice V.M. Kanade and Justice M.S. Karnik asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) whether it could shift the matches scheduled in Pune, how it would contribute to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund and if it was ready to supply the same quantity of water to parched villages in Pune district as it had done for the Indian Premier League matches.
BCCI counsel Rafiq Dada informed the high court that it had supplied four million liters of water per day to various cricket stadiam for the IPL matches so far and also tied up with the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) to procure treated sewage for matches to be played in Mumbai and Pune.
IPL franchise King XI Punjab is ready to shift the three matches from Nagpur to Mohali or anywhere as per the court directions, Dada said.
Dada said that seven-eight water tankers of treated sewage would be supplied daily to the stadium and called for use of treated sewage which otherwise flows into the sea and thus goes waste.
The judges asked the RWITC to give an undertaking whether it would supply water for the IPL matches scheduled in Pune.
The current IPL season was inaugurated on April 9 in Mumbai with a match. Eight more matches are scheduled to be held in Mumbai, nine in Pune and three in Nagpur.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by non-governmental organization Loksatta Movement, challenging the use of large quantities of water by stadiums for the IPL matches when the state was in the grip of severe drought conditions.
The matter will come up for further hearing on Wednesday, Indian media reports.