Mian Saqib Nisar, Chief Justice of the Pakistan Supreme Court, on Thursday criticised the government of Punjab province for its failure to safeguard Katas Raj temple, one of the most revered places of worship for Hindus in the country.

Suo motu notice

The Supreme Court had taken suo motu notice of the case last week after reports published in local media that Katas Raj temple pond was drying up as cement factories and settlements in Katas and Choa Saidan Shah were drawing water through borewells.

“Katas temple is not just a sacred place for the Hindu community, but also a part of our cultural and national heritage,” the Chief Justice observed.

The Punjab government in a report submitted in the Supreme Court earlier this week admitted that an aquifer feeding the pond at the temple complex is facing a drastic fall in the water level due to boring of tube wells by a cement factory.

The Chief Justice directed the Punjab government to establish a high-level committee to probe the matter and also issued a notice to the cement factory.

Alternative water supply

Justice Nisar also asked the authorities to find a substitute water supply scheme to spare the pond. “We have to find a solution as to how water can be provided. If we need to close down tube-wells or halt the water consumption of the factories, we will do it,” he said.

Hindus believe that Katas Raj pond was formed after Lord Shiva wept on the death of Sati, his wife.

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