The preparation regarding Vivo IPL 9 opening ceremony is going on full swing. It is only a matter of few hours when the tournament kick starts with a star-studded opening ceremony in Mumbai. The event is expected to be graced by big celebrities including the likes of Yo Yo honey Singh, Jacqueline Fernandez, Katrina Kaif among others. Like each year, a lot of matches will be played in Nagpur, Pune and Mumbai respectively.
The state of Maharashtra is already facing severe water shortage in its Marathwada and Vidarbha region, if media reports are to be believed then IPL 9 might aggravate the problems of water scarcity in the state. This year, the state will host as many as 19 IPL matches across three venues; Nagpur, Pune and Mumbai. According to an estimate, as much as 65,790 gallons of water would be needed every week for overseeing the pitches and other ground maintenance work.
IPL 9 Caught in Legal Battle
Recently, a legal petition has been filed in the Bombay High Court by the Loksatta movement and Foundation for Democratic Reforms Organization demanding the shifting of IPL matches outside Maharashtra. They also argued that the very first match of the IPL match should also be held outside the state. The IPL 9 inaugural match will be played between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants tomorrow at Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium.
The Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) argued in its response to the petition, “Water is required throughout the year. On match day it is not needed. So why are you against IPL? If you have to be logical then stop watering of gardens and for everything else.”
Taking a strong objection to the cricket body’s argument the Bombay high court stated, “It is a question of priority – a game or people… Are you going to maintain gardens and stadiums when people are dying? Is this what you are saying?” Since the next hearing of the issue will be taken up by the court on Tuesday, hence IPL matches will be played as per schedule unless any further intervention from the court.
What the Experts are Saying
Several experts are claiming that more than 65 lakh liters of water would be required for ground maintenance work across Maharashtra for 19 IPL clashes to be played in Nagpur, Mumbai and Pune. Unfortunately, Nagpur and Pune are facing the worst. Both cities come under Marathwada region where more than 70 per cent dam water has already dried up in the last few months due to scanty rainfall last monsoon. The situation elsewhere in Maharashtra is also not good with only 22 per cent dam water remaining across the state. IPL, the cricket extravaganza, will run for around next two months.
With Maharashtra hosting several IPL matches this year, a lot of water would be required for them. Since the state is already facing the wrath of the nature, receiving inadequate rainfall, every drop of water counts. Is it not prudent to provide the same water earmarked for IPL matches to the common people, who are even finding it extremely difficult to quench their thirst and meeting day to day needs in drought-hit Maharashtra?
More appalling is the fact that more than 55 farmers have already committed suicide in the past three months due to water scarcity and bad monsoon in the state. These issues should be looked into first and given more priority than anything else. “I leave it for the readers and fans to decide if IPL is more necessary or the availability of water, which is the basic need of life, to the people and farmers needing it most?