No water for six IPL matches in Pune: Bombay HC

Elias Hubbard
April 19, 2018

Mumbai: In a setback to the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA), the Bombay High Court today said water from the Pavana river will not be used for maintaining the Pune cricket stadium for the current edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) till further orders.

"It is absolutely wrong to grant supply irrigation water to Maharashtra Cricket Association for industrial goal", said a bench of justice Abhay Oka and justice Riyaz Chagla.

The court said that IPL does not fall under the industrial category, nor does the MCA have any industries.

During the last hearing, MCA counsel Gorwadkar informed the court that after the HC order in 2012, it had entered into an agreement with the state government to bring out 2.5 lakh litre water everyday from the Pavana dam in Pune to maintain the stadium.

The senior advocate was responding to a public interest litigation filed by Loksatta Movement, a non-profit voluntary association, raising concerns over the large scale "wastage" of water to prepare cricket pitches and outfields for T-20 tournament in 2016, when Maharashtra was reeling under acute water shortage. That year the court had directed that matches including the final be shifted out of the state.

The high court had asked the MCA to file a reply on how it would manage water for the matches to be held in Pune.

This came to light when Justice Oka perused the expired agreement of the MCA and the Irrigation Department, which specifically stated that the cricket body was being provided water for "industrial" purposes. The bench observed that watering the pitches was a recreational use and by no stretch if imagination could it be termed as industrial use. The court reserved its judgment. "But till then, we would like to make it clear that the MCA can not seek water from the PCMC or the Irrigation Department until further orders", Justice Oka said.

The MCA stadium at Gahunje is supposed to host the remaining "home" matches of MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) after the management found the situation unbearable in the southern city following protests over the Cauvery water-sharing issue. "They will have to give us the water sources and we will verify them". "Even if we take 50,000 litres water for match days during the IPL, it should be enough".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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