Mumbai: BJP secretary Vivekananda Gupta has demanded that Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches scheduled to be played in Maharashtra should be shifted out of the state due to prevailing drought conditions.
Gupta, in a letter addressed to BCCI president Shashank Manohar, said that a standard cricket field requires a minimum of 80,000 to 1,00,000 litres of water per application.
Approximately two to three such applications are required per week, which means 1,60,000 to 3,00,000 litres of water are needed per week to maintain turf growth and repair damaged areas, he was quoted as saying in a statement issued on Saturday.
Nineteen IPL matches are slated to be played at Mumbai, Pune
and Nagpur between 9 April and 29 May. The final match of the
tournament will be held at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium on 29 May.
The BJP leader said more water was needed during hot and windy conditions and less during winter. Thus, more than 70 lakh litres of water will be required to maintain the grounds for the 19 matches.
The BJP leader added that the state currently faces one of the worst droughts in the last one century. "Rainfall in the last two years in Marathwada and Vidharbha regions were the lowest. Successive low rainfall has resulted in depleting ground water levels, which has impacted 90 lakh farmers in the state," he said.
Gupta said the BCCI president cannot turn a blind eye to the grim drought situation in the state and the suffering of the farmers. "When our state is affected by drought, will it be wise to waste 70 lakh litres of water? Even Mumbai faces acute water shortage. This is the time to show sympathy to our 'annadatta' (farmer). I hope you will support and sympathise with our farmers and shift the venue of IPL matches to other states," he said.