PIL wants dry spell for IPL

Days ahead of the Indian Premier League tournament, a petitioner has moved the High Court asking for matches to be shifted out of the state, citing severe drought conditions

The Indian Premier League (IPL) and controversy seem to go hand in hand, with each season witnessing fresh scandals. This year, fans in Maharashtra might have to bear the brunt, with a petition asking that IPL matches not be hosted here due to water scarcity. The Bombay High Court is likely to hear the matter today.

Groundsmen prepare the pitch at the storied Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, which might not be able to host the IPL final on May 29 if the petition is successful in court. File pic
Groundsmen prepare the pitch at the storied Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, which might not be able to host the IPL final on May 29 if the petition is successful in court. File pic

With just days left — IPL begins on Friday — the petitioner Surendra Srivastava has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) at the HC, claiming that it will cost the state around 60 lakh litres of water just to maintain the cricket pitches. This, he argued, is inexcusable during a time of drought across the state.

“The state is facing one of its worst droughts in a decade. In such conditions, matches should be shifted out of Maharashtra to prevent further issues of water scarcity,” said Srivastava.

He also pointed out, “As per Articles 21 and 47 of the Constitution of India, the fundamental right to living and duties of state to raise the standard of living and nutrition have defined clearly that it’s the responsibility of state and Centre to provide water. When there is such scarcity, how can one waste so much water?” said Advocate Ankita Verma to the bench of justices VM Kanade and MS Karnik.

The petition also mentions that some parts of state hardly get water once a week, and such wastage will only add to the scarcity. The petitioner has made the Board of Control for Cricket for India a respondent, as well as the cricket associations of Mumbai, Vidarbha and Maharashtra, along with the state water resources department, and municipal corporations in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, where 19 matches are likely to be played.

60 lakh
The number of litres of water it will cost the state just to maintain the pitches, according to the PIL

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