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Mumbai and Pune franchsies to contribute Rs 5 cr to CM's drought relief fund: BCCI to HC

The BCCI on Wednesday told the Bombay High Court that IPL franchises Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants are willing to contribute Rs five crore towards the Chief Minister's drought relief fund.

WankhedeGroundsmen water the pitch at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. Pic/PTI 

The BCCI on Wednesday told the Bombay High Court that the Mumbai and Pune IPL franchises are willing to contribute Rs five crore towards the Chief Minister's drought relief fund.

Both Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants have also agreed to supply water to the drought-hit Marathwada region of Maharashtra. Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) has given an undertaking in the HC that it will supply water to Pune and Mumbai for the IPL matches.

The BCCI spelt out its stand before a bench of Justices V M Kanade and M S Karnik, hearing a PIL by NGO Loksatta Movement challenging use of large quantities of water in stadiums at a time when the state was reeling under severe drought conditions.

BCCI's counsel Rafiq Dada also told the high court that the cricket board is ready to supply over 60 lakh litres of non-potable water to drought-hit areas in Maharashtra free of cost.

He said the water will be supplied in support with Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC), Mumbai Cricket Association and Maharashtra Cricket Association.

Pune team franchise's senior counsel Janak Dwarkadas told the court that considering the situation in Maharashtra, the Pune franchise has already given an undertaking to BCCI that it will give monetary support to the CM's drought relief fund and also help in transferring water to the drought-hit areas.

Acting Advocate General Rohit Deo, appearing for Maharashtra government, said that if drinking water is not being misused then the government has nothing against the IPL.

If IPL matches are shifted it will be huge loss not only financially but also in terms of brand value and merchandising, said senior counsel for Pune team.

The high court had yesterday asked the BCCI whether it could shift IPL matches out of Pune in view of the grim water crisis in Maharashtra even as the cricket board said it would procure treated sewage water for maintenance of pitches in Mumbai and Pune.

The judges had also asked the board whether it can contribute to the CM's drought relief fund.

As the BCCI said it had supplied 40 lakh litres of water to stadiums per day for IPL tournaments so far, the judges had asked whether it was ready to supply the same quantity to water-starved villages in and around Pune.

Nine Indian Premier League (IPL) matches have been slotted in Pune and eight in Mumbai, where the opening match was held on April 9 at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, the BCCI's counsel had earlier told the court.

Three matches are slated to be held in Nagpur, and IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab has agreed to shift them to Mohali or elsewhere if the HC tells it, he said.

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