Mumbai: “Cannot lose sight of the plight of millions of people,” Bombay High Court said while ordering all IPL matches to be shifted out of drought-hit Maharashtra after April 30. BCCI is now on a sticky wicket.
While IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla admitted there would be problems shifting the matches, he made it clear the ruling from the court doesn’t come as a disappointment.
However, sources from the Board say the top brass has been left scratching their heads to find a solution with time being their worst enemy. In the latest development, it’s learnt BCCI has asked grounds at Kanpur, Ranchi and Indore to be on standby to ensure they are ready if the need arises to use them.
According to media reports, it is understood that Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants will play their remaining matches at these venues. Kings XI Punjab, who have three matches in Maharashtra, are least affected by the decision. Co-owner Ness Wadia had expressed his willingness to shift back to Mohali much before the verdict was out. KXIP will now play all their seven home matches at their original home ground in Mohali.
Despite shifting matches out of Maharashtra, the drought omen looms large over BCCI. Each of the cities chosen as back-ups is reeling under severe drought conditions themselves.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s home ground Ranchi has been the worst-hit off the three, even declaring a water emergency. The state machinery declared drought in December last year along with 11 other states in the country. According to data, Ranchi, a city of 11 lakh people, needs 45 million gallons of water a day. Add to the trauma, one of the three dams supplying water to the region is almost dry, while water levels in the other two are below average during this time of the year.
According to media reports, only half of Ranchi’s total water requirement has been met this time. “Rainfall has been scanty. That’s why water is being rationed out of the Hatia dam. We are treating this as an emergency,” state water resources minister Chandra Prakash Chaudhary said.
The situation is no different in Kanpur. If the city in Uttar Pradesh has to host an IPL match, it would require 40 lakh litres of water per day. And given the drought conditions in the Northern state, it cannot afford to splurge water on cricket.
“It’s being ensured that nobody dies due to hunger under any circumstance. All measures are being taken for it. In case of death due to hunger, the district magistrate would personally be held responsible,” relief commissioner Ashok Kumar had said. IPL would not do any good for the people in Kanpur.
Indore in Madhya Pradesh also seems to tell a sorry tale. The city is staring at acute water shortage following scarcity of rainfall last year, the second year in a row that the rains failed MP.
According to a report, the drought has affected 48 lakh farmers in 228 tehsils, while an area of 44 lakh hectares has also been hit by arid conditions. Apart from Rs 2,400-crore compensation to be extended to farmers for crop damage, the state has also sought an additional Rs 300 crore from the Centre for drinking water supply in various districts.
The Bombay HC ruling not only comes as a major logistical loss but also has made BCCI think-tanks take decisions without any thought process. A back-up to a back-up is paramount now....