Mumbai student bats for saving water, launches online petition

Following the controversy over watering grounds to host IPL matches in Maharashtra which is facing a drought, a city-based college student has launched an online petition for judicious use of water and has received over 6,000 signatures so far.

City-based Rushabh Mamania, who started this petition on Change.org, told PTI today, "I was inspired by people's response to waterless holi in the wake of drought in Maharashtra. Many people are not aware of the wastage of water in the IPL so I thought to make them aware by filing the online petition."

A total of 6,041 people have signed the petition that would be submitted to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, requesting him to take steps to avoid water wastage and shift the IPL matches out of the state.

"How can we remain insensitive to the continuing farmers' tragedy in our own state? Can you turn a blind eye to the sufferings of our farmers, who are the 'annadatta' (provider of food)," his petition reads. Rushabh's petition is co-addressed to BCCI president Shashank Manohar and Mumbai Cricket Association president Sharad Pawar.

His petition has a picture of a farmer looking up in the sky with his hands folded in prayer, in what is evidently an emotional appeal to the rain gods.

Explaining the amount of water required to prepare a ground to host a cricket match in the state, Rushabh said, "A standard cricket/football oval requires a minimum of 80,000 to 1,00,000 litres of water per application. Approximately 2 to 3 applications are required per week (1,60,000 to 3,00,000 litres per week) to maintain turf growth and repair damaged areas. More water is needed in hot windy conditions and less in cooler conditions."

This year's IPL starts in Mumbai from April 9. A total of 19 matches will be played in Maharashtra's three cities- Mumbai, Pune, and Nagpur.

"Thus, in the 19 Matches to be played in Maharashtra more than 70 lakh litres of water will be used to maintain the cricket grounds. When our state is affected by drought will it be wise to waste 70 lakh litres of water?" he asked.

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