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HC Asks Maharashtra Cricket Board to Not Use Water for IPL Matches in Pune Until Further Orders

The court observed that the agreement between the state and Maharashtra Cricket Association is faulty as it wrongly states that the water is being used for industrial purposes while IPL matches is not part of an industry.

Radhika Ramaswamy | CNN-News18

Updated:April 18, 2018, 8:58 PM IST
HC Asks Maharashtra Cricket Board to Not Use Water for IPL Matches in Pune Until Further Orders
Policemen control protesters shouting slogans inside the MA Chidambaram stadium during the IPL match between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders in Chennai that led to the shifting of matches to Pune. (Image: AP)
Mumbai: What could be a setback to the IPL and Chennai Super Kings, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) not to use water from the Pavana Dam to maintain stadiums in Pune for the IPL matches until further orders.

The court observed that the agreement between the state and MCA is faulty as it wrongly says that the water from the dam is being used for industrial purposes.

A division bench of Justices AS Oka and RI Chagla was hearing a petition filed by NGO Loksatta, which had sought information on how the Maharashtra government proposes to allocate water in Pune stadiums since the home matches of the Chennai team have been shifted from Chennai to Pune for this season of IPL following protests and chaos in the Tamil Nadu capital during the last match here.

The petitioner has been raising concerns since 2016 about water usage for stadium management in Maharashtra for IPL at a time when the state was reeling under drought.

The state government had earlier told the court that it does not intend to provide additional supply of water for this purpose.

The MCA, in its affidavit, told the court that they have enough water stored after harvesting and that it will not take water from the municipal corporation.

The state cricket authority further said that water from Pavana River will be drawn and treated and used to maintain the pitches. About 2.5 lakh litres of water from the dam is required every day for the stadiums.

The counsel for MCA informed the court that the agreement between state and MCA on usage of water had expired in February and it will be renewed after which water will be drawn. MCA’s lawyer pointed to the court that the apprehension of misuse of irrigation water is a misplaced argument.

The court, however, pointed that the agreement itself is faulty. Justice Oka said, "You have been drawing water by saying it is being used for industrial purposes as per agreement. What industry is IPL running? You are illegally drawing water by calling it for industrial purposes and not calling it for recreational or stadium purpose."

Although the state government said that it will take a decision on the renewal of agreement, the bench asked the state to not take any decision.

"The MCA is not running any industry as per the previous orders and agreement. We direct the state government to not take any decision until we pass an order," added Oka. The dam water cannot be used for IPL in Pune until court gives its final order.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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