SC orders cement factories to pay for water used from Katas Raj area


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday ordered the cement factories around the Katas Raj Temples to come up with a policy for payment of water used in the past and that to be consumed in the future.

The directive was given by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar in a suo motu case based on media reports that the cement factories near the ancient temples are causing the Katas Raj pond to dry out completely.

Justice Nisar said that the people who are not doing anything for the Katas Raj situation are not sincere with this country. He also said that the factory owners must have used influence for the establishment of cement factories in the area.

He lamented the “giving away of the factories for free” by the former secretary industries, Khalid Sherdil, at which the official responded that a no-objection certificate (NOC) was not a requirement when the factories were established.

The CJP noted that the factory owners only think of their own profits and no measures were taken to resolve the issues voluntarily.

He also said that Bestway Cement should be wound up since “Allah will have his mercy and production will be met somehow”.

He also said that cement factories should pay up to get water from the river, ordering the factories to give recommendations as to how much they are willing to pay for the purpose.

Justice Umar Atta Bandial observed that the impression that in the absence of law, a wrong act would become right is false, adding that theft was a crime under all circumstances.

The CJP also ordered the factories to take measures to prevent air pollution while directing the Punjab government to install pipelines to provide water to the factories.

The case was adjourned until 7:30pm on Wednesday.