SC directs EPA to submit report in Katas Raj case


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to submit a report on water theft.

A three-member SC bench headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprised Justice Ijaz-Ul-Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar heard the suo motu notice case regarding Katas Raj temple.

During the course of proceedings, the deputy commissioner Jhelum said apparently the tube well’s water is not being misused. Water meters are installed on all tube wells, he added.

He said around 90 percent of water pools of Dera Ghazi Khan cement were filled with water. The court has banned the use of underground water since last year, he added.

The counsel for DG Khan Cement said the air cooling system will be installed by December.

Minority Leader MNA Ramesh Kumar said it has to be checked whether the cement factory has not installed the secret pumps.

To this day, the water of Katas Raj has not returned, he added.

Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan asked is there so much rainfall in the area as very much water is being reported. The direction of the underground water may have changed, he added.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial said there was a need to see which tube well is extracting more underground water.

He sought experts’ reports if the water was being stolen technically.

He said it should be explained why Katas Raj Temple pond got dry.

Later, the court directed the EPA to submit a report on water theft and adjourned the hearing of the case till January 2020.