Cement factories barred from using potable water in Katas Raj area


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday stopped cement factories from using potable water and chided factory owners for putting monetary profit above environmental concerns.

The top court was hearing a case pertaining to the depleted and historical Katas Raj pond in Chakwal.

The pond is revered as a holy site by Hindus and is reportedly depleted due to cement factory operations located in the vicinity.

Operations reportedly include sucking water out of the ground which has exacerbated the pond’s depletion.

Earlier in May, the SC had wrapped up the case after factory owners had assured the apex court that they would arrange alternative supplies of water.

Due to non-implementation of SC’s orders, a bench of the top court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar took up the case again.

The CJP remarked during the hearing that factory owners had been using water worth millions of rupees without paying for it.

“We will impose the taxes ourselves,” Justice Nisar added.

Moreover, the apex court banned factories concerned to use the potable water and the hearing was adjourned till August 1.

Earlier, before the conclusion of the case, the SC had ordered factory owners concerned to submit Rs2 billion as bank security and had warned them that the SC would order their operations to be shut down if the top court’s orders were not complied with.