Millennium Post

Final blow to IPL franchises

In a final blow to the Indian Premier League franchises in Maharashtra, the Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the Bombay High Court order on shifting matches out of the state due to the ongoing water crisis. According to the Supreme Court order, no matches will be held in Maharashtra after May 1. “It is better to move out the matches in the wake of the drought,” the apex court stated. There are two IPL teams based out of Maharashtra. The Reliance-owned franchise Mumbai Indians and first-timers Rising Pune Supergiants, whose base is the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. This column has written extensively on the subject since the Bombay High Court ruled earlier this month that cricket grounds in Maharashtra cannot host the Indian Premier League matches post-April 30. We will reproduce what was written in these very columns, following the judgment. “In the past, this column has argued that it is a wise suggestion. It is a question of basic empathy. Farmers have suffered consecutive crop failures due to deficient rainfall. In the past three months, more than 200 farmers across eight districts in Maharashtra committed suicide. Recently, district authorities in Latur were forced to invoke Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code to prevent violence over in the drought-hit zone. Under the collector’s order, not more than five people are allowed to gather near 20 water storage tanks until May 31 in order to prevent possible acts of violence. Earlier this week, a train carrying water tanks reached the drought-hit district. But others have contended that people are not dying of thirst because of the IPL. The water crisis in the state is down to the failure of successive State governments to provide basic services to so millions. Critics of the court’s judgment argue that they have failed to make adequate provisions for decades when rainfall is deficient. Even during seasons when the monsoon is generous, the state apparatus has failed to make enough provisions for the delivery of potable water. Critics also refer to the numbers reported on the IPL’s use of water resources. Across all three stadiums hosting games in Maharashtra, reports indicate that the total amount of water used is estimated to be six million litres. This figure is only 0.2 percent of Mumbai’s daily water supply. Critics have slammed the decision for what they consider ‘tokenism of the worst kind’.”
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