HC shifts 13 IPL games out of drought-hit state

BCCI and fran­chises given 15 days to move the matches

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Aye­sha Arvind aye­sha.arvind@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Only six of 19 IPL matches sched­uled in Ma­ha­rash­tra can be held in the state and the or­gan­is­ers will have to shift out the rest from April 30, the Bom­bay high court ruled on Wed­nes­day.

Say­ing claims of fi­nan­cial li­a­bil­i­ties made by the or­gan­is­ers could not over­ride the “larger cause of the peo­ple”, it gave the Board of Con­trol for Cricket in In­dia and fran­chise teams 15 days to “make ar­range­ments” to move matches out of drought-hit Ma­ha­rash­tra.

The bench said while the state govern­ment had cho­sen to be a mute spec­ta­tor and shift all blame on mu­nic­i­pal au­thor­i­ties, the court could “not turn a blind eye to the plight of the peo­ple”.

It said that while “merely shift­ing the matches out would be a to­tal so­lu­tion” to the drought prob­lem, the same must “act as a be­gin­ning to avert the use of large quan­ti­ties of wa­ter for pur­poses other than that of the needs of the pub­lic”. The Mum­bai and Pune teams of­fered to do­nate ` 5 crore each to the CM’s drought re­lief fund.

The court said the pur­pose of the hear­ing was not to de­ter­mine whether wa­ter saved by pre­vent­ing its use at IPL grounds could be put to use in drought-af­fected ar­eas and whether the state could in­de­pen­dently tackle wa­ter short­age, but it was about “sen­si­tiv­ity to the hard­ships faced by citizens”.

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