There will be no potable water for the cricket pitches being prepared for IPL matches this year in Maharashtra.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis made this clear on Friday.
His declaration comes in the wake of Bombay High Court’s reprimand of the state government on Thursday:
“You (state) are dealing with people at large…animals have died, cattle have died, people are dying and you want to maintain pitches and grounds?”
Maharashtra is facing a severe drought crisis which has forced many farmers to commit suicide. The government has been scathingly criticised for its handling of the crisis.
Of the matches to be played in IPL this year, 20 will be held in Maharashtra, including both the opening and the final match both of which will be played at Wankhede. According to officials, 40-60 lakh litres of water will be used for the matches.
A PIL had requested the shifting of the matches. The court has, however, allowed the IPL opening match to be held on April 9.
The court termed the use of water for the pitches as “criminal wastage”. But the IPL organisers claim that the water that is being used for the maintenance of the ground and the pitches are not drinkable. The court will now look into the claim.