Bombay High Court will be hearing a petition against use of water for maintenance of Indian Premier League pitches in drought hit state Maharashtra. Former journalist Ketan Tirodkar, in his PIL, sought a direction to the IPL Commissioner to pay tax on water, as about 60,000 litres per day would be required to maintain the pitches.
A division bench headed by Justice V M Kanade was hearing the PIL filed by NGO ‘Loksatta Movement’ challenging the use of nearly 60 lakh litres of water to maintain pitches at three stadiums in the state which will hold IPL matches.
“This is a serious issue and we need to look into it,” the high court said and posted the PIL for hearing tomorrow.
According to the petition, the state is reeling under a drought and acute water shortage as levels in dams and lakes have gone down.
“There is already a scarcity of drinking water and water for sanitation purposes and the state authorities are turning a blind eye,” the petition said.
It said that under the Maharashtra State Water policy, the government has prioritised use of water, and usage of water for recreation and other purposes comes last in the priority list.
The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) told the high court that tickets for the IPL matches have been already sold and huge loss would be caused if they are cancelled.
The court, while posting the PIL for hearing tomorrow, sought responses from all other respondents, including the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Vidarbha Cricket Association, Maharashtra government and the civic bodies of Mumbai and Nagpur.