HC cracks whip on MCA over water, says people more important than IPL

HC cracks whip on MCA over water, says people more important than IPL
Bombay High Court raps state’s cricket body over water crisis

While hearing a PIL on holding the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches in the state, the Bombay High Court reprimanded Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) for using about 60 lakh litres of water to prepare pitches at a time when large parts of the state are facing acute water shortage.

Questioning the cricket body if the people or IPL matches were more important, the court asked, “How can you waste water like this? How can you be so careless?” The division bench headed by Justices V M Kanade and M S Karnik also added, “Only if water supply to BCCI is cut will you understand.”

HC even questioned the State Government for its inability to address the water shortage issue and asked it to present a detailed plan tomorrow. Since Maharashtra is expected to host around 20 out of the 60 matches, it also asked why the IPL matches could not be held in states where there is no water shortage.

In defence, the MCA stated that it purchases the water it needs from the civic body and uses water that is undrinkable. It also urged the HC to consider the fact that the tickets have already been sold to the public. IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla was also quoted saying, “Our sentiments are with drought-affected Marathwada. But some litres of water needed for two-three grounds will not solve the water problem. Matches will continue as per schedule.”

For now, the cricket body has asked for a relief from the interim order restraining cricket associations in Maharashtra from using water to maintain the pitches. The HC will take a call on the interim relief during the hearing tomorrow.

Meanwhile the ninth edition of IPL will kickstart with a star-studded opening ceremony on Friday evening.

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