Mumbai, April 27: The absence of IPL matches in Maharashtra after 1st May will continue as the Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed with an earlier verdict of Bombay High Court that said 13 matches must be moved out of the state as it is dealing with the worst drought-situation in several decades.
Why don't you shift the matches," a bench led by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur observed while dismissing pleas by the Mumbai Cricket Association and the Maharashtra Cricket Association against the Bombay High Court ruling.
Recently Bombay High Court gave the verdict that IPL matches cannot be conducted in Maharashtra when the three cities meant to host the games- Nagpur, Pune and Mumbai are coping with severe water rationing. Court ruled that water cannot be wasted for maintain cricket pitches for domestic Twenty-20 tournament in the drought situation.
A PIL had been filed in the high court by an NGO alleging misuse of water when the state was reeling under a drought. Water level in the state's reservoirs were at an all time low was 17 per cent, the NGO claimed.
The Bombay HC verdict was challenged by Organizers and different cricket associations in Supreme Court. They had argued that it was treated sewage water, not water that could be treated for drinking, that would be used to water the pitches. They had also offered to donate 60 lakh litres of treated sewage water to drought-hit areas as compensation for the water that would be used on pitches.
The organizers were considering moving some of the cancelled matches to Rajasthan, but a petition in a court there has also challenged that move, contending that given the scarcity of water in the desert state, cities like Jaipur should also be declared no-go zones for popular cricket tournament.