Subsidised water for cricket, farmers left thirsty



Zeenews Bureau

Mumbai: At a time when Maharashtra is facing one of its worst ever drought, a RTI query has revealed that water is being supplied to the Wankhede stadium – where IPL matches are to be held – at subsidised rates.

While the 25,000-26,000 litres that required to keep the turf green is being supplied at a rate of Rs 400/tanker, farmers in the state’s drought-hit regions are being forced to shell out as much as Rs 1,500-3,000 for one tanker full of water.

The IPL’s sixth season began on April 03 and will end on May 26. Mumbai and Pune, the two biggest cities in Maharashtra, are due to host 16 matches in total.

The drought in Maharashtra has cast an unexpected shadow over the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket tournament, with Opposition parties calling for matches to be moved out of the state to save water.

“Maharashtra state is reeling from a drought. Is it right then that hundreds of thousands of liters of water should be wasted for cricket matches that are solely for entertainment?” Vinod Tawde, a senior BJP leader, wrote in a letter to IPL chief Rajeev Shukla.

The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, Shiv Sena and the Republican Party of India have also objected to IPL matches citing the same reasons.

The Shiv Sena, last week, asked owners of IPL teams to contribute Rs 500 crore towards drought relief from the revenue generated through the event.