Wankhede Stadium is Mumbai Indians' home ground    Getty Images
Wankhede Stadium is Mumbai Indians’ home ground Getty Images

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) if it would continue its decision of not supplying additional water to the Wankhede Stadium during the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament. The court asked the civic body to file an affidavit on this.

A division bench of Justices A S Oka and Riyaz Chagla was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by NGO ‘Loksatta Movement’ in 2016, raising concerns over water usage for ground management during the IPL tournament, when the state was reeling under drought. In April 2016, the high court had directed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to shift all the IPL matches to be held in Maharashtra post April 30, outside the state due to the severe drought condition.

During an earlier hearing of the matter, the BMC had told the high court that in the past three years it has not given any special supply of water to the Wankhede Stadium, located in south Mumbai. “Is the civic body willing to continue this statement that there would be no special supply of water to the stadium during the IPL tournament? File an affidavit,” Justice Oka said.

The bench posted the petition for hearing on April 6. The court said the civic body affidavit should also clarify whether water was supplied to the stadium at commercial rates. The court also noted that the government was bound by its policy on water supply.

As per the policy, the water supply is divided on priority basis into four categories, under which supply for drinking purposes comes first, and for events such as ‘Shahi Snan’ (royal bath during mega events like the Kumbh mela) falls in the last category.

While the petitioner claims that the IPL also falls under the last category, the BCCI and the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) said that the IPL was a sports event and would hence, fall under the category of recreation.