It's not the IPL, idiot! it's the sugar.
Since the last couple of days, there has been a huge outrage over the 'criminal wastage' of water to maintain pitches for IPL matches to be held in Maharashtra.
A PIL was filed at the Bombay HC claiming that 60,000 litres per day would be required to maintain the pitches. This coming at a time when the state is reeling under severe drought.
While the sentiment is noteworthy, the logic is flawed.
Shifting IPL matches out of Maharashtra will not solve the drought crisis in the state. But cutting back on sugar will!
Yes. National Geographic data states that more than 1,500 litres of water is used to produce a kg of sugar. And for those unaware, sugar comes from the most cultivated crop in Maharashtra, the sugarcane, which uses disproportionately higher amount of water than other food crops.
Now, the ideal thing for farmers in Marathwada to do would be to significantly lessen production of sugarcane and instead, cultivate other food crops which don't consume so much water right?
Wrong! The number of sugar mills has actually gone up from 40 in 2009-10 to 52 in 2014-15 in the Marathwada region, as per IndiaSpend report. All thanks to our brilliant lawmakers who are actually encouraging production of the water-guzzling sugarcane in a drought hit area. No wonder the region is facing this crisis.
The IndiaSpend report also exemplifies this by stating that drinking tea without sugar can prove more effective than IPL ban.
Tea is the most preferred drink for Maharashtrians and they liberally use sugar to sweeten it, using two, even three teaspoons for every cuppa.
This is how Mumbai alone can lead the fight against drought from the front.
Sample this - Out of the roughly 2 crore population of Mumbai, even if we assume that 20% of them drink tea with one teaspoon of sugar every day, it amounts to approximately 10,000 kg of sugar that the city consumes every day, as per IndiaSpend.
So, if tea-drinking Mumbaikars reduce even one teaspoon of sugar every day, the city alone can save up to 1.5 crore liters of water per day.
There you go... you have one more reason to cutback on the sweetener. Reducing sugar consumption will not only make you a whole lot healthier, but will also indirectly help the farmers of Marathwada in the long run.
But this cartoon from The Times of India is the final word on the issue. Read and reflect.
(Feature image source: PTI + Reuters)