Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding use of ground water for maintenance of cricket play grounds, India, 15/04/2021

  • 15/04/2021

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Haider Ali Vs Union of India & Others dated 15/04/2021.

Grievance in this application is against use of ground water for maintenance of cricket play grounds without availing of alternative of using STP treated water and installing rainwater harvesting systems for storing and recharge of ground water. This results in depriving people of potable water for drinking. The applicant, Haider Ali has, in particular, raised the issue of Indian Premium League (IPL) cricket matches, organized by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for commercial and entertainment purposes, without concern for water conservation.

The bench comprising NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Sudhir Agarwal and expert member Dr. Nagin Nanda stated that 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 rain water harvesting and storage of such water may be ensured.

The Tribunal directed the Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti to hold a joint meeting within one month with the nominees of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, representative of BCCI and CPCB to consider the issue of regulating extraction of ground water for maintenance of cricket play grounds. The issues for consideration include –

i) prohibiting use of ground water for maintenance of the playgrounds at least during the time no match is being actually played and exploring utilization of STP treated water

ii) ensuring that effective rain water harvesting and water storage/recharging systems are installed in all playgrounds to save the groundwater

iii) laying down mandatory requirement of engagement of an environmental expert for every cricket stadium for ensuring compliance with the environmental norms

iv) using every sport event with the programme of awareness for environment protection, using a part of profit from commercial activities as a mandatory obligation.

The decisions taken in the meeting may be followed up by appropriate statutory orders, the NGT order, April 15, 2021 said.