Faced with criticism over large quantity of water usage for pitches for IPL, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said Maharashtra is fine with the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches being shifted out of the state, but will not provide potable water for maintaining cricket grounds.
"Even if IPL is shifted from Maharashtra this season, we do not have any problem. No potable water will be provided for IPL this season," Fadnavis told reporters on sidelines of an event here.
His comments came a day after the Bombay High Court refused to grant a stay on the first of the IPL cricket matches scheduled tomorrow here.
The court had also sought to know from the state government and the municipal body whether the water supplied to the stadiums in tankers was potable or non-potable.
A city-based NGO had petitioned the court challenging the use of over 60 lakh litres of water to maintain pitches and sought shifting of IPL matches out of the state given the second successive drought it is experiencing.
Altogether 20 matches will be played in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur and all these cities are facing grim water crisis, said the petition.
On two consecutive days, the High Court had come down heavily on the state government, IPL organiser Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) and other cricket associations for "criminal wastage of water".
The court had suggested for the IPL matches to be shifted to a state where water is in abundance and had asked "is your cricket match more important than people".
The court was informed by BCCI that they purchase water to maintain the grounds and it is non-potable and cannot be used for drinking purposes.
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