With the Bombay High Court raising questions, the BCCI on Tuesday said that it will procure treated sewage water for ground maintenance for IPL matches in drought-hit Maharashtra.
"We have tied-up with Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) to procure treated sewage water for the IPL matches to be played in Pune and Mumbai," Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) counsel Rafiq Dada submitted. The high court bench of Justices V M Kanade and M S Karnik was hearing a PIL filed by NGO Loksatta Movement, challenging the use of large quantities of water in stadiums despite the state being drought-hit.
Nine Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches would be played in Pune and eight in Mumbai. Of the eight in Mumbai, one has already been held, the BCCI's counsel told the court. Three matches are slated to be held in Nagpur, and IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab has agreed to shift matches to Mohali or elsewhere if the HC tells it, he said.
Everyday, 7-8 tankers of treated sewage water would be supplied to the stadiums, Dada said. The concept of using treated sewage water should be encouraged because after treating the sewage water, it is released into the sea and goes waste, he said. "In this case, instead of discharging treated sewage water into the sea, we are using it in the stadiums," the BCCI counsel said.
The high court had pulled up the BCCI during the last hearing on the use of large quantities of water for ground maintenance. The BCCI has taken very seriously the issue of using water in stadiums in view of the drought situation in Maharashtra, he said.
The matter has been adjourned after lunch as government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani sought time to file an affidavit on the stand of the state administration on the issue.
During the last hearing in the matter on April 7, the high court had declined to stay the IPL opening match on April 9 here, as sought in the public interest litigation. The court had then come down heavily on the state government questioning its seriousness in tackling the situation.
The PIL has sought moving out 20 IPL matches scheduled in Maharashtra, including Mumbai and other cities, in view of the water crisis.
The court had said it was not staying the match on April 9 as it wanted to know from the state government and the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai whether the water supplied to the stadiums in tankers was potable or not. It had said that until this query is answered, the issue of granting stay cannot be considered.
The judges had asked the government and the municipal corporation to file separate affidavits by today, stating whether the water supplied to stadiums during the IPL matches was potable or non-potable.
The judges also asked both the authorities to inform whether they had formulated any policy for supply of potable and non-potable water to Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan and other cities in Maharashtra.
The bench had sought to know from the state and the civic body whether any contingency plans had been drawn up in case of further scarcity of water due to delayed monsoon this year. It had asked the authorities to spell out in their affidavits whether they had made any inquiries about the source of water supplied to the stadiums through tankers. The bench had also asked the authorities to state whether they had imposed any restraint on use of water in marriages and receptions during April-May 2016 as the state was facing acute water scarcity.