Five tankers with capacity of 10,000 litres each are used daily to water the Wankhede pitch and ground, according to the stadium staff. This, they claim is bought from private operators and not the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) even as debate rages on watering grounds for IPL matches when there’s a drought-like situation in Maharashtra. Speaking to The Indian Express, Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) employees responsible for the upkeep of the ground said it is watered almost every day, depending on weather conditions and match dates.
“There is no question of using municipal supply to water the ground. We do not get enough supply from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation anyway,” said a senior MCA staff.
Private tank operators bring water to the stadium from wells in South Mumbai, discharging their contents into a separate storage tank used only to water the ground and pitch. “There is no municipal supply inlet for this storage tank,” the staff added.
The stadium receives supply from the municipal corporation from a pipeline of 80-mm diameter. A separate storage tank is maintained for this water which is supplied to the stands, the washrooms, the clubhouse and MCA offices, staff members said.
The MCA is charged at commercial rate for this water. Officials from the hydraulic engineering department of the BMC said around 19,000 litres is supplied daily to the Wankhede stadium for drinking water purposes.
“On an average, around 18,000 to 19,000 litres of drinking water is supplied to Wankhede stadium daily. Their requirement is around 25,200 litres daily but due to the ongoing water cuts the supply is slightly lower,” said A Tawadia, the BMC’s hydraulic engineer. “Also, the stadium has not asked us to supply additional water for IPL matches. No additional water is to be supplied,” Tawadia added.
In a reply to a 2013 RTI query, BMC officials had said the MCA was charged at the rate of Rs 40 per thousand litres. According to information provided to RTI activist Sharad Yadav, the monthly water bill was around Rs 50,000 to Rs 55,000.