Cement factories offer water solution to Supreme Court

Cement factories offer water solution to Supreme Court
09 May 2018

The Suo Motu case against Bestway-I, Bestway-II, DG Khan cement factories and Dandot Cement Co in Pakistan on the Shri Kates Raj Temple Pond issue seems to be wrapped, as the Supreme Court on 8 May, has received a proposal from the cement factories that they would find an alternative water source and pay for the water they use until then, local media reports.

In November last year, the Supreme Court had taken notice of reports that the pond in the Katas Raj temple complex in Punjab was drying up because cement factories nearby been drawing a large amount of water through a number of sub-soil wells.

Reportedly, Bestway Cement and DG Khan Cement proposed that they would submit PKR2bn (US$17.3m) to PKR1.5bn (US$12.9m) and PKR0.5bn (US$4.3m), respectively, as bank security until they could find an alternative source of water. They said they would build a small dam in the area, the outflow of which will be maintained in a way that the pond at Katas Raj is not adversely affected. They also proposed to pay Punjab government for the water that they use until then.

The court also noted that the cement factories would have to improve the system of emissions keeping in view the global standards. "If needed, the court will have the smoke exhaust system checked,'' it said.

He said that the factories should not cause pollution in the area and ensure the pond in Katas Raj temple is filled.

Additional Advocate General Asma Hamid informed the court that until alternate arrangements for water provision are made, the Punjab government would charge the factories for water usage, the tariff for which is yet to be decided.

The court has yet to pass an order or formally accept the factories' proposal.

Published under Cement News