Mumbai: Seeking to differentiate water supply for IPL matches and industry, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday said his government was not opposed to IPL matches.
"We did not say no to IPL. We just said we cannot give drinking water for IPL," Fadnavis told reporters at Vidhan Bhawan after the budget session of state legislature concluded here this evening.
The Bombay High Court today ordered shifting of all IPL matches scheduled in Maharashtra after April 30 to another state in view of severe drought in the state.
"IPL and industry cannot be compared. IPL is sports and entertainment. Lot of people are dependent on industry for jobs. The revenue we get from IPL is indirect," he said.
"We said (to the court) we will ascertain whether the source of water supplied to IPL is 'sand pani' (waste water)," he said.
"We have made arrangements for water supply in industrial areas," he said.
Dwelling on the business conducted during the session which began on March 9, Fadnavis said, "altogether 18 bills were passed in both Houses during the budget session.
The CM said government has tried to take most effective measures to tackle drought and water scarcity.
"We have made full preparations for cloud seeding and will go ahead when met department IMD says so," he said, adding that the water train to Latur is one such measure.
A committee headed by Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse is being formed to take measures on drought relief and will include opposition leaders, he said.
"We managed to get the maximum quantum of financial assistance from the Centre to Maharashtra in the state's history," he said.
On the delay in filling up water in wagons of the water train to Latur, the CM said, "We are doing what the Railways are asking us to do".
"Railway minister Suresh Prabhu has told us that railways won't charge anything for the work (water train) they are doing," he said.
"I feel there should be no more sugar mills started in Marathwada. We can shift sugarcane cultivation to drip irrigation," the CM said.
"If the investors is coming to Maharashtra despite such a drought, it shows their confidence in Maharashtra," he said.
Fadnavis said his government declared a policy to regularise illegal constructions in this session.
"We also took a major decision on housing for mill workers," he said.
The CM said the government is positive on the issue of setting up a separate ministry for OBC development.
To a query, he said, "the Congress high command has directed (state Congress leaders) to target me that is why they are levelling baseless allegations against me".