Slamming the BCCI and cricket associations of Maharashtra and Mumbai over water wastage when the state is suffering severe drought, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday said ideally Indian Premier League (IPL) matches should be shifted elsewhere, where there is now water crisis.

“Only if water supply to BCCI is cut, you will understand,” the court observed.

The court also told the state that ultimately it is the government’s responsibility and duty to do something about this (water wastage) and impose some kind of restraint.

“How can you (cricket associations and BCCI) waste water like this. Are people more important or your IPL matches? How can you be so careless? Who wastes water like this? This is criminal wastage. You know what the condition is in Maharashtra,” a division bench headed by Justices V M Kanade and M S Karnik said while hearing a PIL filed by NGO ‘Loksatta Movement’.

“Ideally, you should shift the IPL matches to some other state where water is in abundance,” the court observed.

The Bombay High Court had on wWednesday rapped Maharastra Cricket boy for the wastage of water for IPL matches.

The IPL tournament  is set to begin from April 9 with the first match to played  at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. A total of 20 matches will be played in Mumbai, Pune, and Nagpur. The finals of the tournament scheduled on May 29 will also behold at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai.

The  Mumbai Cricket Association  (MCA) had on Tuesday told the high court that tickets  for the IPL matches have been already sold huge loss would be if they are cancelled.

The court had  sought responses from all another respondent, including the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Vidarbha Cricket Assiocayoyion, Maharashtra government  and civic bodies of Mumbai and Nagpur.

Besides, another similar PIL, filed in the high court by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar, sought a direction to the IPL Commissioner to pay tax on water, as about 60,000 liters per day would be required to maintain the pitches.

The pitch maintenance in these stadiums will consume 60,000 litres of water every day, said the PIL.

Maharashtra is facing acute shortage of water for the past two decades, right from Mumbai to Vidarbha and Marathwada and the gravity of the situation can be seen by 3,228 farmers’ suicides across the state in 2015, Tirodkar’s PIL said.

The high court has already taken Suo-moto cognisance of the drought situation leading to suicides by farmers across the state, the petitioner said.

IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla on Tuesday ruled out shifting the matches out of Maharashtra due to drought and water scarcity in the state.