The Bombay High Court on Wednesday ordered that 13 IPL matches scheduled after April 30 must be shifted outside Maharashtra due to water scarcity in the state. The ruling came after a Public Interest Litigation questioned the hosting of matches in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur due to a severe drought in the state.
The matches scheduled until April 30 can, however, be held in the state, the court said, adding it could not afford to ignore the plight of people affected by drought.
According to the IPL schedule, five matches will be played in Maharashtra this month. The 13 matches that will move out include six to be played in Pune (including two knockout game), four in Mumbai (including final at Wankhede) and three in Nagpur. The state was earlier scheduled to host 20 matches.
The court said that shifting of IPL matches can be a beginning towards addressing drought situation in Maharashtra.
After the verdict, the petitioner Surendra Shrivastava said that It’s a welcome move. “I would have been happy if the state government would have taken this decision. Would have been happy if IPL or BCCI would have come forward and cooperated on this decision,” said the petitioner.
Earlier the BCCI assured the court that no drinking water will be used for watering the pitches and upkeep of the field, the court observed that any water saved can be used towards the drought affected areas.
Last week, the court had sought an explanation from the BCCI and the three state associations on why water should be “wasted” on hosting the games when the state faced one of its worst ever droughts. The court later allowed the opening match to be held as scheduled in Mumbai on April 9, and asked the Maharashtra government and Mumbai’s civic body to respond on plans to tackle the issue of water shortage.
(With inputs from IANS)