• “Are IPL matches more important than people?” : Mumbai HC questions BCCI's priorities

    April 07, 2016

    The Mumbai High Court chastised the Indian cricket board by pointing out the fact that watering the playgrounds and cricket grounds during the IPL matches while Maharashtra is experiencing the worst droughts in many years is in itself a criminal waste and ideally what should be done is to shift the matches held in the state to a more well equipped state. After a pretty long discussion on this topic, the Boards's counsel requested the High Court to give the Board time to prepare a contingency plan on how to tackle this problem. Therefore, the case has been adjourned till April 7th.

    The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Loksatta Movement, a Mumbai-based NGO. Loksatta Movement wanted all the IPL matches to be held in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur to be relocated to another state since the state of Maharashtra has bigger worries at hand. Almost 70% of the state has been witnessing one of the worst droughts in its history. The droughts have been so severe that it has led to many water riots as well as rationing in various parts of the state.

    To monitor the estimated water usage in the upcoming IPL tournament, the court has asked the BCCI and the concerned state associations - the Mumbai Cricket Association, the Maharashtra Cricket Association and the Vidarbha Cricket Association to prvide the court with a detailed account of the predicted water usage. But the court has not passed any judgement yet with regard to this.

    The division bench of Justices VM Kanade and MS Karnik observed "that this entire thing (of the utilisation of water for IPL matches) needs to be thought over". The court also reportedly asked the BCCI counsel whether "cricket matches were more important than people or preserving water". According to the court “The matches should be shifted to another state where water is in abundance.”

    The 9th edition of the Indian Premiere League (IPL) is scheduled to be held from the 9th April to the 29th April with Maharashtra hosting 20 of the matches in Mumbai, Nagpur and Pune. The inaugural match between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants is also scheduled to be held at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium on Saturday


    The only place where, at this very moment, the people of Maharashtra can see water in plenty would be on the pitches of the cricket fields in the state. Where on one hand the common man is having a tough time to provide one's family with proper drinking water and water for everyday use in a drought hit state, the cricket board officials are splurging crores of money just to water the grass at various cricket grounds in and around the state. The court's order should be paid heed to and the matches should be reallocated to some of the other states of the country. The benefits of this is twofold. On one hand the water of Maharashtra would be allocated to more urgent distribution and on the other hand development of cricket would take place in cities and states where cricket still needs promotion and exposure.

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