29K Maha villages drought-hit: Water misuse on sportsfields must end, says activist
Mumbai, June 18 (IANS) In the backdrop of a severe drought across large parts of Maharashtra with a delayed monsoon this year, a Bharatiya Janata Party activist on Tuesday raised concerns on the alleged huge misuse of water on various sportsfields, especially for cricket pitch maintenance.
Sanjay Pandey, state BJP secretary, who recently flagged off the “Right To Water Act” campaign (reported by IANS on May, 21), has now trained guns on popular field sports like cricket, hockey and football grounds besides sprawling golf courses where lot of water is used in the name of maintenance.
For instance, he said around 3,000 litres is used daily to maintain a normal cricket ground and some cricket bodies he alleged reportedly use purified RO-treated water for ground maintenance.
There are at least four to five large sportsground in each of the dozen main cities in the state which covers huge area. In 2019, around 29,000 villages all over the state has been hit by drought.
Pandey said as per reliable estimates, around 40,000 litres water per month are required for regular cricket ground maintenance, so the total quantity of water used by all grounds for all field sports in the country would be phenomenal.
The Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) had informed the Bombay High Court some time ago that nearly 6,000,000 litres of water was needed for maintaining the three pitches in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur during the Indian Premier League matches.
Moreover, it had said that around 60,000 litres of water was required per day for the ground maintenance during the IPL series, held annually.
Pandey urged the Mumbai Cricket Association and other field sports bodies to use either recycled water or the water collected through rainwater harvesting systems to reduce the burden on the city water resources.
Similarly, he said other field sports like hockey, football and golf courses, which also require huge amounts of water both on the field and for consumption for the run-off area around the field of play, running into lakhs of litres daily, should switch over to recycled or harvested water resources.
In this connection, he pointed out that the Rabobank Arena in California, the Lords in UK and Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia use recycled water for ground maintenance.
Pandey has written a letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and will communicate with all cricketing bodies in the country to draw their attention to the serious issue of water wastage in times of crises.
Recently, he launched a month-long campaign, Mumbai Water Warriors to spread the message of water conservation urging people to save at least one bucket of water daily which could provide huge relief to water-starved rural areas.