ISLAMABAD, Jul 10: The Supreme Court (SC) Tuesday restricted cement factories located in the vicinity of Katas Raj in Chakwal from using fresh drinking water.
A two-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar resumed hearing of the suo moto case in connection with depleted water in Katas Raj pond in Chakwal due to cement factories which had sucked the underground water.
The case was earlier disposed of by the apex court in May when the factories had assured that they would arrange alternative sources of water and pay for the water they would use. As the court's order was not implemented in letter and spirit, it re-opened the case.
During the course of proceedings, the chief justice remarked that cement factories were consuming water worth millions of rupees without paying their dues. The government should impose taxes on the factories and if the government would not do so then the court would do it itself, he added.
He observed that the DG Cement Factory and Bestway Cement Factory had earlier deposited Rs 2 billion as surety in the case earlier, which was not enough and they would have to deposit Rs 2 billion. The factories, however, could not use fresh water till further court orders, he added.
The court observed that the Bestway Cement Factory had consumed water worth billions of rupees, and its officials were saying that the CJP was taking the matter unnecessarily.
The bench while summoning all the relevant record adjourned the case till August 1.