BENGALURU: Mumbai’s loss has become Bengaluru’s gain with the Indian Premier League (IPL) final being shifted from the financial capital to the once Garden City. But this begs two questions: does the former city have the means to supply water to the Chinnaswamy Stadium, where the match will be played on May 29? And should it, given that the water utility is struggling to supply water to the 9 lakh households in the city?
Understandably, the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA), which is hosting the match, is saying it’s no sweat. But the nicety of IPL being played in states with droughts raging in their hinterlands has become the subject of controversy ever since the Bombay High Court sent the IPL out of drought-hit Maharashtra. A public interest litigation questioning the conduct of IPL amid a drought was indeed filed in the Karnataka High Court and the latter issued a fiat to the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to ensure no water is wasted during the match.
The BWSSB on its part has decided to play along with the match but imposed stern terms upon the KSCA. It has asked the association to purchase tertiary water from its plant for the pitch and lawn, paying Rs 25 per kilolitre.
Sources said KSCA is drawing about 17 lakh litres per month (56,667 litres per day) during normal days and 21 lakh litres per month (70,000 litres per day) during IPL matches from the BWSSB. During matches, KSCA uses 48,000 litres of water for drinking purposes and 18,000 litres per day for the pitch alone.
The BWSSB, sources said, has decided to levy a double penalty if KSCA’s monthly usage crosses 17 lakh litres. After that every litre of water will attract double the normal tariff.
The KSCA has to stick to the usage of 56,667 litres on all days, including during matches. Exceeding that limit will attract a fine of Rs 180 per kilolitre, double the normal fine of Rs 90 per kilolitre.
“We will not create hurdles to the IPL matches but we have to respect the order of the High Court. Accordingly, we will supply drinking water to spectators. If at all KSCA wants to use more water, it can buy tertiary water for the pitch and lawn from our plant and supply it at its own cost,”a BWSSB official told Express.
KSCA spokesperson Vinay Mrutyunjaya said the association is yet to receive instructions from BWSSB on usage of water. “However, we will ensure there is no unnecessary wastage of drinking water. We will talk to BWSSB and convince them. If at all, BWSSB does levy a penalty, we will take a decisionaccordingly,” he said.
He added that the KSCA has four borewells and set up a Rs 85 lakh plant to recycle sewage to get 2.1 litres of water per day. It will be functional soon. “This apart, we have come up with a ‘Sub Air’ System, costing over Rs 3 crore, which is a first of its kind in the country.
This absorbs rainwater falling on the ground and collects it in an underground tank with a capacity of 7 lakh litres.
■ KSCA uses 56,667 litres of water per day on normal days and 17 lakh litres per month
■ On match days, it uses 70,000 litres/day and 21 lakh litres per month
■ Uses 18,000 litres per day for preparing the pitch for the match