MUMBAI: Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked BCCI if it can consider shifting some of the Indian Premier League cricket matches out of Pune.
A bench of Justice VM Kanade and Justice MS Karnik made the query after hearing a public interest litigation by NGOs Loksatta Movement and Foundation for Democratic Reforms on the "misuse" of lakhs of litres of water for maintaining cricket pitches. Total 20 matches are to be played. Nine matches are to be played in Pune, eight in Mumbai and three in Nagpur.
The court, in the morning session, took note of press statements by franchisee Punjab Kings XI that it may shift all 3 matches out of Nagpur. It has asked the franchisee to be impleaded so that it can ascertain its stand.
BCCI had also informed the court that will use treated sewage water to maintain its pitches for seventeen matches to be played in Mumbai and Pune. Senior advocate Rafiq Dada, appearing for BCCI, said it had requested the Royal Western India Turf Club to provide water from its sewage treatment plant at the Mahalaxmi racecourse. "We are not going to use tanker..nothing," said Dada, adding that RWITC will provide 7-8 tankers of sewage treated water per day. Senior advocate Vineet Naik, appearing for Maharashtra Cricket Association, informed the court that it can get the water from RWITC transported from Mumbai to Pune. The judges have asked if RWITC will give an undertaking to provide the treated sewage water for the matches.
They have also asked if BCCI is willing to give a donation to the Chief Minister Drought Relief Fund. Also, if it is willing to provide 40 lakh litre water which it was using for Wankhede stadium in Mumbai through tankers to drought affected villages.