Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

IPL out of Maharashtra

Bombay High Court has ordered IPL matches out of Maharashtra after 30 April for this year. It was in response to a PIL which wanted matches out of Maharashtra because cricket grounds needed lakhs of litres of water when there was drought in large parts of Maharashtra. The judgment affects 4 matches at Wankhede Stadium, 6 matches in Poona, and 3 Kings IX Punjab matches in Nagpur.
The verdict said “We agree that merely shifting of IPL matches out of the state will not be a solution, but diverting water to villages which otherwise would have been used for maintaining pitches will help resolve the problem to a large extent.
We were informed RWITC (Royal Western India Turf Club) will supply sewage treated water to pitches. In our view it will not be possible for court or government to monitor if this is being done even as RWITC has given an undertaking stating the same. This does not satisfy us.
Court cannot be blind to the plight of millions of people. In certain areas, livestock are dying due to scarcity of water. In areas like Latur, water is being supplied twice in a month. The condition is the same in cities next to Mumbai like Thane, Kalyan. Even Pune is reeling under severe water shortage.”
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said there is no problem if IPL matches were shifted out of Maharashtra.
Loksatta Movement and Foundation for Democratic Reforms had filed a PIL for shifting all 20 IPL matches out of Maharashtra. Bombay High Court first allowed the opening match to take place. Now it has allowed six more matches to take place. This gives sufficient time for franchises to organize shifting of matches. Surendra Srivastava is the president of Loksatta Movement.
Some said IPL is a soft target. Some said it is tokenism.
IPL is a not a soft target. IPL is a hard target. IPL teams are owned by billionaires or trillionaires. One of the owners is a bank loan defaulter and out of India. IPL is a product of BCCI. BCCI has as its members politicians from BJP, Congress, NCP and NC. BCCI has shifted IPL matches to South Africa and Dubai. Some anchors are soft on IPL.
Ness Wadia, an owner of Kings IX Punjab, welcomed the judgment. His team was to play three home matches in Nagpur. His team will play those matches in Mohali which is their home ground. How is that they have to play three home matches in Nagpur? It seems there was pressure from BCCI and VCA President Shashank Manohar.
Anurag Thakur disagreed with the judgment. He questioned whether watering of High Court lawn has stopped. He questioned water supply to swimming pools of five star hotels. He said “We are not using drinking water, we have said that we will use treated sewage water only. How may swimming pools of five star hotels shut? Have people stopped watering their lawns? There is an attempt to create negativity on every issue these days. IPL was to use 0.00038% of water.”
Some said sugarcane crops and golf courses use more water than cricket grounds.
Majeed Memon said “Right to water is right to life.”
Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants are affected. RPS have chosen Visakhapatnam for home matches. Final will be held in Bangalore. Some have sympathy for RSP because they are on a 2 year contract. They paid 16 crore rupees to BCCI in reverse bidding and are not getting money from TV rights.
It is said BCCI decided not to appeal because they are fighting with the Supreme Court on Lodha Committee recommendations. MI and RPS chose not to appeal.
IPL has changes in teams. It began with eight teams. After three years Kochi Tuskers and Pune Warriors were added. Kochi Tuskers was out in one year. Pune Warriors was out in two years. IPL was back to eight teams. The owners of Deccan Chargers were short of money. They pledged Deccan Chargers. BCCI cancelled the franchise and Sunrisers Hyderabad came in. Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were banned for two years for deeds of owners. Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiants came in.
IPL is entertainment. Its contribution to Indian TV is putting an end to K serials. Its controversies include match-fixing and spot-fixing.

Updated: April 16, 2016 — 7:37 am

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