NESPAK was tasked with replenishing the pond at the Katasraj Temple Complex in the Kahun Valley on Thursday.
The decision was taken at a meeting called by the Ministry of National Harmony to monitor the progress of the project to restore the temples and the pond, which started a month ago.
The Archaeology Department was tasked with restoring the Hindu Temples.
The three villages of Wahula, Tatral and Dulmial, Choa Saiden Shah city and three cement factories had been drawing underground water from near the pond.
Asad IA Khan, the managing director of NESPAK, said they had been directed to replenish the pond, which had shrunk to a width of 12 feet and depth of 5 feet , to a width of 40 feet and depth of 22 feet by September.
However, he said, the process might take longer since monsoon season had started and efficient sediment removal required that there be no water. “We will remove the water in the next ten days and start de-silting,” he said. He said parts of the lining of the pond had eroded and will be rebuilt., An archeology department source said the restoration was being treated as an urgent project since the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, born in Chakwal, was scheduled to tour the temple complex during his visit to Pakistan expected to be in October, 2012.
Last month, a cement factory had sent workers and equipment to de-silt the pond but a 45 tonne crane had got stuck inside it.
The meeting on Thursday was attended by Environment Secretary Saeed Iqbal Wahla, ETPB Vice Chairman Chaudhary Riaz, Archaeology DG Ismat Tahira, Chakwal DCO Ahmad Aziz Tarar and Chakwal DO (Environment) Syed Faisal Maqsood.
Archaeology DG Tahira briefed the Ministry of National Harmony secretary on renovations done at the site since 2006 and the progress of the projects currently underway.
The temples at the Katasraj complex in Kahun Valley are located around 20km south of Kallar Kahar Lake and were built between the first and fifth century BC.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2012.