Mumbai: The division bench of Justice V.M. Kanade and Justice M.S. Karnik of the Bombay High Court were of the view that until their query about the source of water to the stadium for maintaining pitches is answered, the issue of granting stay on the matches cannot be considered. “Is it not the duty of the government to find out if water is supplied to anybody illegally when there is a water crises in the state?” the judges questioned.
Coming down heavily on the state and the municipal corporation, the bench had said, “People who have money can afford to have as much water as they want, whereas in other places people are getting water once in three days.” Senior counsel Rafique Dada, on behalf of BCCI, told the court that even when the IPL is not played, the international pitches need to be watered twice a day. “If they are not watered twice a day then they would die a natural death and a pitch is not watered watered 48 hours before it,” he said, pointing out that even gardens are watered daily.
Annoyed with this, Justice Kanade said, “Thousands of people are dying due to water shortage and you want to maintain pitches. If you want to say that let the thousands of people die and you would not let the pitches die then we are sorry we are not ready to accept this.” According to BMC, approximately 22,000 mld water is supplied to Wankhede Stadium for drinking purposes. The judges have asked the state and BMC to inform whether they had formulated any policy for the supply of potable and non-potable water to Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan and other cities in Maharashtra.
The bench also sought to know from the state and the civic body whether any contingency plans had been drawn in case of further scarcity of water due to delayed monsoon this year. “Do you propose to import water from other states?” asked the bench. The bench asked the government to spell out what short-term and long-term measures it has planned to tide over the water crisis....