Declining to put on hold the inaugural match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 season starting here on Saturday, the Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the Maharashtra government to specify whether the water supplied to various stadia was potable or non-potable.
A division bench of Justice V.M. Kanade and Justice M.S. Karnik said that until this was made clear, the issue of granting a stay o the match could not be considered.
The bench was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the wastage of huge quantities of water for cricket pitches when the state is reeling under a severe water crisis.
Groundsmen water the pitch at the Wankhede stadium ahead of IPL matches in Mumbai. Pic/PTI
The court directed the state government and the civic bodies whedre IPL matches are scheduled to be held to file separate affidavits by the next hearing date -- April 12 -- on the quality of water supplied to the stadia during the tourney.
It also asked the government and civic bodies to inform whether there was any policy on supplying potable or non-potable water to Mumbai, Thane and other cities in the state and if any contingency plans were ready to tackle the looming water crisis.
Maharashtra is scheduled to host 20 IPL matches in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, all cities facing water crisis of varying degrees, starting from April 9, with the first match between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
The judges observed that the public interest litigation by Loksatta Movement was filed just before the IPL season is scheduled to start. In its PIL, the NGO has demanding shifting the IPL matches out of Maharashtra in view of the water scarcity in the state.
The judges also sought to know from the authorities whether any restrictions were imposed on the use of water in marriages and receptions during April-May this year in view of water shortages.