MUMBAI: Declining to put on hold the opening match of the Indian Premier League 2016 season on Saturday, the Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the Maharashtra government to specify whether the water supplied to various stadium was potable or non-potable.
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A division bench of Justice VM Kanade and Justice MS Karnik said until this was made clear, the issue of granting a stay on the match could not be considered. The bench was hearing a Public Interest Litigation challenging the wastage of huge quantities of water to maintain pitches at a time the state is reeling under severe water crisis.
The court directed the state government and civic bodies where IPL matches are scheduled (Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur) 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 crisis.
Maharashtra is scheduled to host 20 IPL matches in the three cities, all facing water crisis of varying degrees, starting from April 9. The first match between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants is at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
The judges observed that the PIL by an NGO called Loksatta Movement was filed just before the IPL is scheduled to start. In its PIL, the NGO has demanded shifting IPL matches out of Maharashtra in view of the water scarcity.
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.