Islamabad: The sacred pond at the famous Katas Raj temple complex in Pakistan`s Punjab province is drying up because its water is being used by nearby villages and a cement factory, a media report said Sunday.
The pond`s water level has dropped after a cement factory installed tubewells.
The water from the pond is also supplied to Choa Syedan Shah and Waula villages as the Punjab government has not provided any alternative facility to local residents.
The water supply to Choa Syedan Shah was sanctioned before Partition in 1947 on the condition that water in the pond would be maintained at a certain level.
Till 2007, there was no shortage of water in the pond.
As Chakwal witnessed industrial development, three cement factories were set up in Choa Syedan Shah.
One cement factory near the Katas Raj temple complex is posing a threat to the pond, the Dawn newspaper reported.
The factory`s administration initially said it would arrange water from the Jhelum river but instead installed "many" tubewells near the temple complex, the daily quoted its sources as saying.
The widespread use of water in the factory has harmed the pond and resulted in a severe water shortage in nearby villages.
Residents of Waula, a village located behind the factory, were left with no other option but to obtain water from the pond.
Two water pumps have been installed at the pond - one for Choa Syedan Shah and the other for Waula.
"The water in our village has disappeared due to the cement factory," said Fazal Elahi, an attendant of the water pumps and a resident of Waula.
A water supply scheme was approved by the Punjab government but work on it had not begun.
Residents protested many times against the unwarranted water use by the factory but no action was taken by authorities.
The deputy administration officer of the cement factory claimed the tubewells had nothing to do with the shortage of water in the pond.
According to Hindu mythology, the holy pond was formed when Lord Shiva wept over the death of his beloved wife.