The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Secretary of the jal shakti ministry to hold a joint meeting with the nominees of the sports ministry, representatives of BCCI and CPCB, within one month, to consider regulation on extracting groundwater for maintenance of cricket playgrounds.
The NGT on Thursday, while disposing of an application, also stated that the said meeting should consider prohibiting the use of groundwater for maintenance of the playgrounds -- at least during the time in which no match is being played --, exploring utilisation of STP treated water for maintaining the playgrounds and ensuring that effective rainwater harvesting or water storage or recharging systems are installed in all playgrounds to save the groundwater.
The meeting should consider laying down a mandatory requirement of engagement of an environmental expert for every cricket stadium to ensure compliance with the environmental norms, the tribunal said.
The NGT also advised making "usage of every sporting event for the awareness on environment protection and usage of a part of the profit from commercial activities" points of consideration.
The bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel also noted that there can be no dispute with the proposition that conservation of water is a dire need of the current times.
"Every effort is required to save potable water for drinking. Cricket or other such grounds may be maintained, as far as possible, from the STP of high quality having no pathogens and offensive components. Also, rainwater harvesting and storage of such water may be ensured," he said.
The direction of the green tribunal came during the hearing of an application against the use of groundwater for maintenance of cricket playgrounds without availing the alternative of using STP treated water and installing rainwater harvesting systems for storing and recharge of groundwater.
The application alleged that the use of groundwater for maintenance of Cricket playground results in depriving people of potable water for drinking. The Petitioner, Haider Ali, raised the issue of Indian Premium League (IPL) cricket matches orgsed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for commercial and entertainment purposes, without concern for water conservation.
The Petitioner, on December 23 2019, had also approached the sports ministry, ministry of water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation and also the states of Punjab, Telangana, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal and NCT of Delhi, where cricket matches are orgsed seeking framing of a policy in the said matter. It is stated that no response was received, noted the NGT.
( With inputs from ANI )
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