In view of the acute drought situation in the state, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked the BCCI to shift IPL matches out of Maharashtra. The court said IPL matches cannot be held in the state after April 30, news reports said.
The High Court decision is despite Pune and Mumbai franchises paying Rs five crore each toward's the drought relief fund. This means that 13 matches, including the final on May 29, cannot be held in Maharashtra.
Although the BCCI argued that it would incur a severe loss if the matches are shifted outside of Maharashtra, the High Court ruled that the matches shall not be held in Maharashtra after the end of this month.
As per the current schedule, Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium and Nagpur’s stadium are to host three matches while the Pune stadium is slated to host nine matches.
"We can't run away from the fact that we have invested, moving out will upset the balance. The brand and value of the team gets disturbed. We are there only for two years and yet we are willing to make this sacrifice. Changing the stadia is a problem," Pune team’s spokesperson told Times Now.
"We have discussed giving help to the villages most effected by the drought. Our decision has been put forward. The BCCI is neither using potable water nor intends to do so," said Anurag Thakur, the BCCI secretary.
The High Court had asked the BCCI if it was willing to donate to the Chief Minister's drought relief fund, and if so, to what extent, as well as if it would donate 40 lakh litres of water to the drought effected areas. The BCCI has agreed to the the last two requests, but not to shifting the matches out of Maharashtra.
Severe drought conditions prevail at the moment in at least 10 states in India. Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Telengana are all staring at a bleak summer, already experiencing severe water shortage, with at least two months to go for the monsoons.
Even as the country is reeling under a severe drought, for the second year in a row, the Indian Meteorological Department said on Wednesday that the country will receive "above normal" monsoon with a fair distribution of rainfall across states.
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