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Pond revered by Hindus drying up in Pakistan

Pakistan,Indo-Pak/Pakistan,Religion, Sun, 22 Apr 2012 IANS

Islamabad, April 22 (IANS) A pond considered sacred by Hindus abutting a 900-year-old temple complex in Pakistan is drying up after tubewells began supplying the water to a cement factory and to two villages, said a media report Sunday.


The Hindu temple at Katasraj in Punjab province is considered sacred due to a pond, which according to Hindu mythology was formed from Lord Shiva's tears.


It is also said that the Pandava brothers stayed in the temple region for four out of the 14 years they spent in exile.


Dawn reported that the sacred pond at Katasraj is drying up.


A cement factory near the temple complex has installed tubewells which have reduced the water level in the pond. The water from the pond is also being supplied to Choa Syedan Shah and Waula village as the government has failed to provide alternative facility to the residents.


The water supply to Choa Syedan Shah was sanctioned before 1947 on the condition that the water in the pond would be maintained to a certain level.


There was no shortage of water in the pond till 2007, but that year saw industrial development with three cement factories coming up.


The media report said the cement factory near the Hindu temple complex posed a threat to the pond.


The factory administration had said that it would arrange water from the Jhelum river but later it installed many tubewells near the temple, said sources.


"The water in our village has disappeared due to the cement factory," Fazal Elahi, a resident of Waula village, was quoted as saying.


Ramesh Kumar, president of Pakistan Hindu Council, told the daily that the Punjab government "should take immediate steps to preserve Katas temples and the pond".


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