ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar has summoned owners of all the cement factories operating near the Katas Raj temples in Chakwal on April 20 to clarify their position on the matter.
Hearing the suo motu case of the drying of Katas Raj pond on Thursday, the three-member bench headed by the chief justice warned the owners of factories that arrest warrants would be issued against them in case of a no-show at the next hearing.
The historic pond, a revered site for Hindus, is said to have depleted due to operations in the vicinity of several cement factories that have sucked out the underground water.
During the hearing, the chief justice remarked that he cannot permit the factories to play with people’s lives.
“The factories have sucked all the water,” he observed, adding that there is no law to regulate the matter since three decades. The court held that the factories should come up with a solution otherwise the court will do what it deems fit.
The counsel for one of the factories informed the court that they have hired an expert to help resolve the issue.
The chief justice noted that the apex court had already issued notices to the factories and directed them to use the river water earlier this year but to no avail.
The court does not desire to see drought-like conditions and people suffering from lack of water, he observed further.
Chief Justice Nisar also directed the cement factories to submit a five-year plan, remarking that if there is a shortage of cement, the court will deal with the consequences.
The chief justice remarked that the court will not allow human life to be sacrificed to run factories, adding that, “a factory can be shifted from one place to another but how can an ancestral home be moved”.-Web Desk