New Delhi: The Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) will use recycled water in Mumbai and Pune as part of its plan to retain Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in Maharashtra.
In its response to a public interest litigation seeking a ban on matches in drought-hit Maharashtra, the BCCI told the Bombay high court that the two venues—the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai and the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium in Gahunje, near Pune—will use recycled, non-potable water at their grounds during the ongoing IPL tournament. The Wankhede Stadium hosted the IPL opener, which saw the Mumbai Indians and the Rising Pune Supergiants.
The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), of which Sharad Pawar is the president, had written to the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) requesting the Mahalakshmi Race Course to provide water for the eight matches to be held at the Wankhede Stadium, since the racing season in Mumbai was coming to an end. RWITC has since agreed to the MCA’s request.
The news first appeared in a Times of India report on Tuesday. The report cited a letter to the MCA by RWITC secretary B.A. Engineer as saying, “Our club has received a request to provide seven-eight tankers of our sewage treated water on a daily basis up to the end of May 2016, to water the MCA’s Wankhede Stadium. We can supply this water so that acute water crisis can be overcome to enable you to conduct your cricket matches. The charges will be decided at a later date.”
The report added that RWITC had asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or BMC for permission to launch a Sewage Treatment Plant at the Mahalakshmi Race Course.
The lawyer representing the MCA informed the court of the same. According to news agency ANI, the association, said that the ground would only use the water provided to it by RWITC, while adding that the water supplied by RWITC would be sufficient “to maintain pitches.”
In a related development, IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab has offered to shift its matches out of Nagpur back to Mohali, its ‘home’ ground. Kings XI Punjab were scheduled to play three matches in May at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha, Nagpur. Ness Wadia, co-owner of the franchise, told news channel Times Now on Monday that Kings XI were considering it (shifting matches) “on human grounds and considering it very seriously”. “At the end of the day, we are going to listen to ourselves. What we can do as a franchise as we are all Indians. It’s not good that people don’t have water,” Wadia said.
Should the court not accept its proposal, BCCI is ready with a contingency plan that involves use of alternate venues. Three venues, including Kanpur, Ranchi and Indore, are being considered. The venues, in the event of matches being shifted out of Maharashtra, could host the majority of IPL matches involving the Mumbai Indians and the Rising Pune Supergiants. Kanpur, a first-time IPL venue, is scheduled to host two Gujarat Lions matches.
Indore has previously hosted IPL matches in 2011, while Ranchi has been a regular fixture in the tournament since 2013 as the now-suspended Chennai Super Kings’ second ground.