LAHORE: The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday directed authorities to refill the Katas Raj pond in Chakwal district.
The directive was made as hearing over the matter resumed at the Lahore Registry of the apex court.
The case concerns the depleting water reserves in the Katas Raj pond due to groundwater extraction by cement factories in the area.
The Katas Raj temple is a revered site for Hindus.
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar also directed the cement factories to submit a report on water use and directed the deputy commissioner of Chakwal to investigate sources of water being used by the factories.
“The depleted Katas Raj pond next to the temple be refilled,” CJP Nisar ordered.
“Even if you have to take water tankers, take them but fill up the pond,” he remarked.
During the previous hearing, the apex court had banned cement factories from using potable water.
Last month, CJP Nisar held cement factories responsible for harming the entire environmental system by the act of sucking underground water of Katas Raj temple through drill bores.
“Without paying any heed to laws, these cement factories sucked the underground water,” the top judge remarked while expressing concern that religious festivities of Hindu community are nearing and the pond has dried up.
During prior hearings of the case, a representative of the cement factory told the judges that some 80 thousand gallons of water is consumed by one cement plant.
The Supreme Court in November 2017 took notice of reports that cement factories in the vicinity of the Katas Raj temple were extracting water from the pond next to the holy site.