The Bombay High Court on Wednesday slammed the Mumbai and Maharashtra cricket associations for the water they plan to use to prepare pitches for the upcoming Indian Premier League tournament at a time when the state is suffering from drought. The court said that if there are no plans to save water, the cricket matches should ideally be moved out of Maharashtra to a place where there isn't any water crisis, reported PTI. This comes three days before Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium hosts the tournament opener on Saturday. There are 19 matches scheduled to be held in Maharashtra at Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur.

The court said, as reported by NDTV, "How can you waste water like this? Are people more important or IPL? How can you be so careless?" This is criminal wastage. You know the situation in Maharashtra." The court also said that it is the Maharashtra government's responsibility to ensure that there isn't any wastage of water, adding that it should impose some kind of restraint. It also asked the state government to list what steps it plans to take to address the matter.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation, or PIL, filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar, who said that about 66 lakh litres of water were used for maintaining pitches in Maharashtra during the 2013 edition of the IPL. However, the Maharashtra Cricket Association has argued that the water it purchases is non-potable, reported Hindustan Times. The hearing will continue on Thursday.