SC orders Punjab govt, Bestway cement factory to fill up Katas Raj Temple pond within 7 days

Pond is believed to be drying out due to water being sucked out by nearby cement factories


Hasnaat Mailk December 13, 2017
Katas Raj Temple. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD IQBAL/EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) has given the Punjab government and Bestway cement factory a seven-day period to fill the Katas Raj Temple pond with water.

A three-judge bench of the SC, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, on Wednesday, resumed hearing the suo motu case about the pond of the fabled temple drying up.

The pond — believed to have been created from the teardrops of Shiva and regarded as sacred by the Hindus — is said to be drying out because of large amounts of water being sucked our by nearby cement factories which have allegedly drilled hundreds of bores, severely reducing the subsoil water level.

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During the hearing, the bench sought details of the establishment of cement factories in the area and a report on the environmental impact of manufacturing in Zone B.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar observed that the “owners of the cement factories were playing with lives”.

The CJP remarked that the country’s government sector was not merit-based but run by political-appointees. “We are a part of the state,” he said. “We will not cross our circle of authority but when there is negligence on the part of the government, we will intervene.”

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One of the applicants, Raja Waseem told the court that the Punjab government had allotted mountains and ancestral graveyards to the owners of cement factories. “We requested concerned departments for audit but no action was taken.” The top court directed Waseem to submit a detailed report on this in the next hearing.

COMMENTS (1)

Umair | 4 years ago | Reply The water was not sucked out of the temple directly. The water sources were dried out due to excessive pumping which is an environmental hazard and required replenishment. The news directly potrays it as an attack on the temple which is not true. It is an attack on all residents in that area by the factory owners.
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