The Bombay High Court on Friday sought to know from the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) if it would seek additional water supply from the Pune civic body for ground and pitch maintenance for six IPL matches shifted to that city from Chennai.
The MCA stadium at Gahunje in Pune will host the remaining six 'home' matches of IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) after these were shifted from the southern city following protests over the Cauvery water-sharing issue in the Tamil Nadu capital.
A division bench of justices A S Oka and Riyaz Chagla sought the MCA response while hearing a public interest litigation filed by NGO Loksatta Movement in 2016.
Opposing holding of IPL matches in Maharashtra, the NGO had raised concerns over water usage for ground management at a time when the state was reeling under drought.
The bench was on Friday informed by the petitioner's lawyer that while originally 11 matches were to be played in Maharashtra during the ongoing IPL, six games, which were to be played in Chennai, have now been shifted to Pune.
The lawyer argued that Pune city and rural areas of the district were already facing water shortage.
The judges then sought to know from the MCA, which manages the stadium, if it would be seeking more water than what is being already supplied to it by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).
Last week, the high court had posed the same query to the Mumbai Cricket Association, which manages the Wankhede stadium, another IPL venue.
The court had asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) if it would supply additional water to the stadium in South Mumbai.
The BMC on Friday filed an affidavit, saying no special water supply would be given to the stadium.
The court posted the petition for further hearing on April 18.
The M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai was the home ground of the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK. The IPL franchise played its first home match on April 10 against the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Political parties and other groups in Tamil Nadu had demanded that all the IPL matches scheduled in Chennai be cancelled till the Centre forms the Cauvery Water Management Board. They held protests in support of their demand.
The Supreme Court had on February 16 pronounced its verdict on the Cauvery dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
"The matches had to be shifted out of Chennai as police had said that they were unable to provide security in the prevailing situation" IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla had said on April 12.
IPL matches in Delhi in limbo as no interim order from HC to use old club house
The fate of IPL matches in the national capital is in a limbo as the Delhi High Court on Friday declined to pass any interim order allowing use of Ferozshah Kotla stadium's old club house for broadcasting matches without which no fixtures can be held.
The court-appointed administrator of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) moved the high court seeking permission to use the old club house, also known as R P Mehra block, to set up the equipment of the broadcasters by April 14, saying that the BCCI has said no match can be held there without that.
Justice Rajiv Shakdher, however, said no such interim order would be issued till the block is finally certified as structurally stable by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and the administrator can take the risk of moving equipment there if it wants to.
"What if the building collapses tomorrow? What if SDMC says no? I am not saying yes or no. You take the risk if you want to," the court said.
It also issued notice to SDMC and sought its stand by April 18 on the plea moved by the administrator, former Supreme Court judge Vikramajit Sen, who has claimed that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has said if no broadcasting equipment goes in to the block by April 14, then no IPL matches can be held at the stadium.
Appearing for the administrator, senior advocate Dayan Krishnan told the court that an interim structural certificate has approved the block usage for up to five tonne capacity, while he was seeking permission to move in 210 persons and equipment weighing around two tonnes for the IPL matches which are expected to be held here from April 23 onwards.
The application, filed by advocate Pradeep Chhindra, said tickets for the block, having a capacity of 5,000 seats, would not be issued to the general public and only broadcasting equipment and commentators would be there.
The application was moved in the main petition filed in 2016 by one N C Bakshi claiming that the old club house was unauthorised as it was built without any sanctioned plan and was a threat to public safety and human life and was liable to be demolished.
IMAGE: Chennai Super Kings players celebrate a wicket