Vivo IPL 2018: Could water shortage affect MI games at Wankhede Stadium?

In April 2016, the High Court had directed BCCI to shift all the IPL matches to be held in Maharashtra post-April 30, outside the state due to the severe drought condition

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The Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to file an affidavit stating whether it would continue to not supply additional water to Wankhede Stadium for the Indian Premier League for maintenance of pitches as they have not done so for the last three years.

A division bench of Justices A S Oka and Riyaz Chagla was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by NGO ‘Loksatta Movement’ in 2016, raising concerns over water usage for ground management during the IPL, when the state was suffering from a drought.

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In April 2016, the High Court had directed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to shift all the IPL matches to be held in Maharashtra post-April 30, outside the state due to the severe drought condition.

During an earlier hearing of the matter, the BMC had told the High Court that in the past three years it has not given any special supply of water to the Wankhede Stadium, located in south Mumbai.

“Is the civic body willing to continue this statement that there would be no special supply of water to the stadium during the IPL tournament? File an affidavit,” Justice Oka said.

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The court said the civic body affidavit should also clarify whether water was supplied to the stadium at commercial rates. The court also noted that the government was bound by its policy on water supply.

As per the policy, the water supply is divided on a priority basis into four categories, under which supply for drinking purposes comes first, and for events such as ‘Shahi Snan’ (royal bath during mega events like the Kumbh mela) falls in the last category.

While the petitioner claims that the IPL also falls under the last category, the BCCI and the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) said that the IPL was a sporting event and would hence, fall under the category of recreation.

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