Days before the annual run of one of the richest cricket leagues in the world, the Indian Premier League (IPL), the high court here has questioned the rationale of organising these matches in Maharashtra when the state is under drought. The observations were made during the hearing of a public interest suit by a Mumbai-based non-government body, Loksatta Movement. It wants the IPL matches, scheduled in this city, Pune and Nagpur, to be relocated to other states.
The respondents include the Board of Control for Cricket in India and three cricket associations in Maharashtra. They are to on Thursday give "a detailed account" of the amount of water neded for the tournament.
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"How can you waste water like this? Are people more important or IPL? How can you be so careless," the court said while hearing the suit. "This is criminal wastage. You know the situation in Maharashtra."
Maharashtra is scheduled to host 20 matches in the ninth edition of the IPL. Wankhede Stadium here will host eight, including the tournament opener on Saturday and the final on May 29. Nine matches have been allotted to the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium in Pune, including the Eliminator on May 25 and Qualifier-2 on May 27. Three matches will be played at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur.
Loksatta Movement had contended an estimated six million litres of water would be used for the 20 matches in the state.