Punjab-Bhakkar

Introduction

Bhakkar district is located between 31° 10′ and 32° 12′ north latitudes, and 70° 19′ and 71° 58’ east longitudes. The district is part of the Thal Desert which is situated between the Jhelum and Indus rivers. It is bounded on the north by Mianwali district, and on the east by Khushab and Jhang districts. On its south is district Layya and its west is the Dera Ismail Khan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, with River Indus forming a natural border between these two districts.

District at a Glance

Name of District Bhakkar district
District Headquarter Bhakkar City
Population[1] 1,650,518 persons
Area[2] 8,163 km2
Population Density[3] 193.7 persons/ km2
Population Growth Rate[4] 2.4 %
Male Population[5] 51.2 %
Female Population[6] 48.8 %
Urban Population[7] 15.8 %
Tehsils 4 Tehsils:

1.    Bhakkar Tehsil

2.    Darya Khan Tehsil

3.    Kallurkot Tehsil

4.    Mankera Tehsil

Main Towns Mankera, Bhakkar city, Bhawal, Darya Khan, Dullewala, Khansar, Hyderabad Thal, Notak, Mahni, Jandanwala, and Kallurkot
Literacy Rate[8] 54%
Male Literacy Rate[9] 70%
Female Literacy Rate[10] 38%
Major Economic Activity[11] Agriculture with its Allied Livestock Breeding, Fishing & Forestry 53.7%

 

Construction 25.8%
Service Workers, Shop & Market Sales Workers 5.1%
Community, Social & Personal Services 6.6%
Activities not Adequately Defined 5.8%
Others 3.0%
Main Crops Bajra, barley, gram, jowar, maize, maash, masoor, moong, rice, sugarcane, wheat, cotton, rapeseed, mustard & canola, groundnut, sesanum, linseed, guar seed, sunflower, sunn hemp, castor seed, and fodder
Major Fruits Citrus, mangoes, guavas, dates, jaamuns, figs, melon, and phalsa
Major Vegetables Turnip, onion, carrots, potatoes, chilies, cauliflower, peas, bottle gourd, brinjals, tomatoes, bitter gourd, cabbage, and garlic
Forests (Area)[12] 26,000 HA[13]
Black Topped Roads[14] 2,671.3 km
National Highways[15] – km
Motorways[16] – km
Provincial Highways[17] 2,575.5 km
Sugar Cess Roads[18] 95.8 km
No Of Grid Stations[19] Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO) is the body responsible for the supply of electricity to the district. There are 08 grid stations, ranging in capacity from 66 KV to 132 KV
No. Of Tel. Exchanges[20] 21, ranging in capacity from 50 lines to 3,244 lines.
Industrial Zones[21] There is no designated industrial zone in the district, but factories are located along the Grand Trunk Road (now National Highway N 5). The Kamra Aeronautical Complex and Sanjawal Ordinance Factories are also situated in the district
Major Industry[22] Cold Storage, Cotton Ginning & Pressing, Flour Mills, Paper & Paper Board, Soap & Detergents, and Textile Spinning
Household Size[23] 6.1 per house
Houses with Piped Water [24] 27%
Houses with Electricity[25] 69.7%

Table 1.1 Bhakkar District at a Glance

[1] 2017 Census

[2] 1998 Census

[3] 2017 Census

[4] 2017 Census

[5] 2017 Census

[6] 2017 Census

[7] 2017 Census

[8] Pakistan Social & Living Measurement Survey 2014-15 (PSLM); Latest available.

[9] PSLM

[10] PSLM

[11] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made yet.

[12] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made yet.

[13] According to Land Utilization Statistics a total of 20,000 HA of land area is forests.

[14] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

[15] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

[16] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

[17] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

[18] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

[19] Pre-investment Study, Directorate of Industries, Lahore, Bhakkar District Study 2012; Latest available.

[20] Pre-investment Study, Directorate of Industries, Lahore, Bhakkar District Study 2012; Latest available.

[21] Pre-investment Study, Directorate of Industries, Lahore, Bhakkar District Study 2012; Latest available.

[22] Pre-investment Study, Directorate of Industries, Lahore, Bhakkar District Study 2012; Latest available.

[23] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public yet.

[24] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public yet.

[25] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public yet.

Brief History

There are no extant authentic records of the early history of the areas that now belong to Bhakkar district; some of the well-known facts are that its native inhabitants were Hindus and that before the Christian era, the region formed an integral part of the Greco-Bactrian Empire of Kabul and Punjab.

There are two theories regarding the origins of the name Bhakkar: according to the first, the region’s original name was Sakhar which, with the passage of time, became Bhakkar. The second theory purports that the city Bhakkar was named after a Baloch Sardar (chief) called Bhakkar Khan also Bhako Khan, who, towards the close of the 15th century, came to the region with his followers from Dera Ismail Khan. He stayed in this area, and laid the foundation of a town which was named after him. The Baloch were ultimately ousted by Ahmad Shah Abdali, the founder of the Durrani Empire, who invaded Punjab three times during 1747-1753.[1]

In 997 AD, Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi took over the Ghaznavid Dynasty, and in 1005 he conquered the Kabul Shahis.[2] This conquest was then followed by his conquest of the Punjab region. Later the Delhi Sultanate (1206-1526)[3] and then the Mughals ruled the region. After the death of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, the Mughal Empire started disintegrating. The Sikhs gained military strength, and captured many of the areas held by the Mughals. In 1799, Maharaja Ranjit Singh captured Lahore, and laid the foundations of the Sikh Empire, which was ultimately conquered by the British, who fought two wars with the Sikhs; the First Sikh War was fought between 1845-46 and the second between 1848 and 1849. The Second Sikh War resulted in the annexation of Punjab to the British Empire. The Mughal Empire ended during the reign of Bahadur Shah II (1837-1857), after the 1957 War of Independence (called the Mutiny by the British).

At the time of the annexation of Punjab by the British, the areas now belonging to Bhakkar were part of Mianwali district. Up until 1860, Bhakkar subdivision was known as Darya Khan, named after the town that was also its headquarters. Darya Khan is now one of the 4 tehsils of the district. At annexation, the tract now comprising Bhakkar district was divided between the old Mankera and Darya Khan tehsils. In 1853-54 Mankera tehsil was created, with Mankera as its headquarters, and Khushab tehsil was transferred to Shahpur (now Sargodha district), while Chaubara tehsil, Nawan Kot tehsil and Maujgarh tehsil were transferred to Leiah (now spelled Layyah) and the remainder of the areas were incorporated in Darya Khan tehsil. In 1862, both the Leiah (now spelled as Layyah) and Bhakkar tehsils were merged with the new Dera Ismail Khan district. On the separation of Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP; now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) from Punjab in 1901, a further reconstitution took place, and Mianwali, Bhakkar, and Leiah (Layyah) were made one district. In 1909, Leiah (Layyah) Tehsil was transferred to Muzaffargarh district and Bhakkar Tehsil remained a part of Mianwali district.

In 1982 Bhakkar tehsil was separated from Mianwali and constituted as a district with 4 tehsils: Mankera, Kallurkot, Bhakkar, and Darya Khan.

The origins of Mankera[4] (tehsil of Bhakkar district), according to tradition, can be traced back to 1000 BC. It is believed that Mankera was originally Malkherkot, founded by a Rajput called Mal Khera.[5] Some evidence suggests that a State by this name existed during Alexander’s invasion of the subcontinent. The Arabs, however, called it Manker Kot; during Muhammad bin Qasim’s rule in Sindh, Mankera was conquered by one of his Generals, Abul Asswad Bin Zahar. The first Muslim governor of Mankera was Ahmed Bin Khuzema, who died in Mankera and is buried in Mankera Fort.

Following the decline of Arab rule in Sindh (in the 9th century), the Hindu King of Kanauj (a Parmer Rajput and chief of the Hindu tribe, Mekans) took possession of the Thal Region. The Mekans claim the same ancestry as the Daudpotras. Their Chief, Raja Singh, founded a State with its headquarters at Mankera. This tribe ruled Mankera for 500 years, until towards the end of the 15th century, the Baloch from Makran attacked the State and conquered it. The Baloch ruled this State for the next 300 years. The Abdali/ Durrani Kings annexed Mankera and the adjoining areas in 1793, and the Baloch rule was taken over by the Sadozai Pathans (Abdalis). The Pathan rule of the State ended with Mankera being conquered by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1822, and Nawab Surbuland (Abdali Pathan) and his followers retreated to Dera Ismail Khan.

In 1794, Prince Humayun, son of Taimur Shah, the Abdali King and a claimant to the throne of Kabul, made a failed coup to take over his brother’s throne.[6] He was defeated, and forced to flee to Thal Sagar near Leiah/ Layyah, where the Sadozai Nawab of Mankera, Nawab Muhammad Khan, apprehended him; his son was killed in battle, and he himself was arrested. Humayun spent the rest of his life imprisoned in Mankera Fort. A tomb in the middle of the fort is believed to be that of Prince Humayun, who is considered a minor saint by the locals. On the other hand, the Nawab of Mankera received both the title of Surbuland Khan and the territory of Dera Ismail Khan from King Zaman Shah. Surbuland Khan had to surrender to Ranjit Singh, and retreat to Dera Ismail Khan in 1822.

During British rule, Bhakkar district was part of Mianwali district as Bhakkar Tehsil, and the present day Mankera tehsil was part of Bhakkar Tehsil, as discussed already.

The Bhakkar district was created in 1982, after dividing the area from district Mianwali, of which it was a part as a subdivision. Along with subdivision Bhakkar, subdivisions Kallurkot and Mankera were also established and made parts of the new district. Moreover, Darya Khan has been named an independent tehsil or subdivision.

Governmental Structure

At the Federal level, Bhakkar district is allocated a set number of representatives in both the National Assembly and the Provincial Assembly:

  • Number of seats in the National Assembly 2
  • Number of seats in the Provincial Assembly 4

Under the Local Government and Community Development, Bhakkar district has one District Council, and 6 Municipal Committees as follows:

  • Bhakkar
  • Darya Khan
  • Kallurkot
  • Dullewala
  • Jandawala
  • Mankera

Administrative Divisions

Bhakkar district with a total area of 8,163 km2, is divided into 4 Tehsils as follows:

Bhakkar Tehsil 17 Union Councils
Kallurkot Tehsil 10 Union Councils
Darya Khan 08 Union Councils
Mankera 07 Union Councils

Table 1.2 Bhakkar Administrative Divisions

Heritage/ Historical Buildings and Recreational Areas

There are no protected historical buildings/ sites in the district, but there are many sites of historical importance, some of which include:

  • Historic Fort in Mankera: This fort is half a kilometer to the west of the Bhakkar highway. The fort was constructed in two phases. The initial construction of the brick fort was carried out during the time of the Baloch rule, and further fortification in the form of a thick mud wall was undertaken during the Pathan rule. Today, the fort and its fortifications are mostly in ruins. The major part of the mud wall still exists, but the main fort is mostly in ruins except for a well, a tomb, and a few signs of masonry
  • Remains of a Handera (tomb) near Sheikh Rao Bridge: This is believed to be the burial place of Bhakkar Khan, the founder of the city
  • Dilkusha Bagh: This is a Mughal era garden, constructed by Mehr-un-Nisa, the daughter of Emperor Jehangir
  • The old town: This was walled with 3 gates¾the Tavela, Imamanwala, and King Gates. Of the three, the King Gate, which was built during the British period and named after Mr. King (the Deputy Commissioner of the Mianwali District), survives. After partition, this gate was renamed Jinnah Gate

Other places for recreation include the plantations and forests.

Figure 1.3 Ruins of Old Court, Bhakkar

Figure 1.4 Dilkusha Gardens, Bhakkar

Figure 1.5 Grave of Bhakkar Khan

[1] Two Essays on Baloch History and Folklore by Sabir Badal Khan, 2013

[2] Kabul Shahis or the Shahiyas ruled Kabul Valley and the old provinces of Gandhara, now in northern Pakistan

[3] Delhi Sultanate was a Muslim Empire that ruled the region from Delhi. It consisted of 5 dynasties: the Mamluks (1206-90), Khiljis (1290-1320), Tughlaq (1320-1414), Sayyids (1414-51) and Lodhis (1451-1526).

[4] Official Website of Municipal Committee Mankera (Retrieved in 2017)

[5] Official Website of Municipal Committee Mankera (Retrieved in 2017)

[6] His brother was Zaman Shah, the then King of Kabul

Topography

Bhakkar district is divided into two main topographical features: the Thal and the Indus Valley.

Thal

The Thal is a Great Sandy Desert and includes the prairie which lies above the high banks of the Indus River. It is further divided into two natural divisions, namely, Thal Kalan and Daggar.

The Thal Kalan occupies the eastern portion of the Bhakkar Tehsil. It consists of lines of high sand hills running for the most part from the northeast to the southwest. Towards the middle of the Thal, the hills are lower, and the formation much less regular. The area is characterized by scanty rainfall, is treeless, and has sandy soil, with numerous sand dunes and scattered pasturage.

To the west of Thal Kalan is the tract known as Daggar; here, the hills are lower and less regular, and the sand is less marked. The center core of the Daggar is a narrow strip of firm flat soils, which runs mostly like a river would. At one time there was a line of dug wells (from which the place takes its name). The water from these wells was used for irrigation and domestic uses, but these wells have now been leveled, and the Greater Thal Canal project has been established, which brings water from River Indus.

Indus Valley

The Indus Valley is the part of the district that lies between two high banks of the Indus River. The area close to the main stream is called Katcha; the land beyond this area is known as Pacca. The floods in the Indus are the source of water to the cultivated lands of Katcha area of the district.

Rivers, Streams, and Lakes

The only river passing near the district is the River Indus. This river forms the natural boundary between Bhakkar and Dera Ismail Khan. A perennial nullah of the district is Khaddi Nullah. Other small nullahs and intermittent streams in the district include the Tarappi, Golar, Wahi River, Raghaira Nullah, and Golar Nullah.

Some of the seasonal ponds of the district are Hafizji, Gulwali, Naiwali, and Sikhewali.

Forests

The forests of the district include irrigated plantations, riverine forests, and linear plantations along roadsides and canal banks. These forests support a scattered growth of babul (Acacia nilotica), jand/jandi (Prosopis cineraria), vann (Salvadora oleoides), and farash (Tamarix aphylla), and shrubs like phog (Calligonum polygonoides), lana (Tamarix dioca), milk weed (Calotropis procera) and jujube (Zizyphus nummularia). The grass cover includes ragi (Eleusine compressa), sewan grass (Lasirus hirsutus), sarkanda (Saccharum benglense) and bansi (Panicum antidotale).

The following table shows the kind and area of forests under Forest Division, Bhakkar (Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19):

Total Forest Area 65,404 A Under Provincial Govt. 65,093 A
District Govt. – A Un-classed Forests 311 A
Linear Plantation 1,365 km Reserved Forests – A

Table 1.3 Bhakkar Forests

Important forests include Bhakkar Plantation, Chak Plantation, Fateh Major Plantation, and Rakh Ghulaman. All four of these forests are protected forests, providing sanctuary to a large variety of wildlife and plantations. Other forests include Rakh Daggar Kotli, Rakh Chikken, Rakh Hondalal, Rakh Karluwala, Rakh Goharwala, and Rakh Khewyara.

Soils

Bhakkar district falls under the Sandy Desert Zone of Punjab. Here, the soils are usually stable sand ridges with loamy soil in between sand dunes. Moderately to strongly calcareous, locally saline-sodic soils are encountered in the Indus Valley region.

Climate

Bhakkar has extreme climate. It is sizzling hot during the summer and cold in the winter. The summer months are April to October, and winter starts in November, continuing till March. May and June are the hotter months, with June being the hottest. During this month, the mean maximum and minimum temperatures are 43 °C and 27 °C respectively.

Winter is cold and frosty, with the minimum temperatures during winter falling below freezing point. January is the coldest month; the mean maximum and minimum temperatures during this month are 20 °C and 4 °C respectively.[1]

The mean annual rainfall in the district is 460 mm. The maximum amount of rain falls during the Monsoon months of July and August.

Seismic Activity

The district belongs to Zone 2A of the Seismic Zone Map of Pakistan, which means there will be minor to severe damage due to earthquakes.

[1] Mianwali Meteorological Station

Population

The following table shows the population of the district and its tehsils as per the 2017 Census:

District/ Tehsil Area

km2

Population Male% Female % Urban % Growth Rate %
Bhakkar District 8,153 1,650,518 51.2 48.8 15.8 2.4
Bhakkar Tehsil 2,427 685,059
Darya Khan 1,729 360,807
Kallurkot 2,239 347,552
Mankera 1,768 257,100

Table 1.4 Bhakkar Population Statistics

Religions[1]

Muslims 99.6%
Christians 0.2%
Hindus Negligible %
Ahmadis Negligible %
Schedule Castes Negligible %
Others 0.2%

Table 1.5 Bhakkar Religions

Languages[2]

Urdu 7.2%
Punjabi 17.5%
Sindhi Negligible %
Pushto 1.3%
Balochi Negligible %
Seraiki 73.0%
Others 1.0%

Table 1.6 Bhakkar Languages

[1] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public yet.

[2] 1998 Census; 2017 Census data has not been made public yet.

Economic ActivityEconomic Infrastructure

Economic Activity

The major economic activity of the rural areas of the district is agriculture and its allied livestock breeding. This activity absorbs 53.7% of all labor force. 25.8% of the labor force is absorbed by construction workers, 6.6% by community, social, and personal services while only 2.2% are professionals.

Agriculture

Bhakkar district falls under barani (rain-fed) areas, and thus, the agriculture practices of the region correspond to dry farming areas. Most of the irrigation depends on wells and tube wells. Important crops of the district are bajra, barley, gram, jowar, maize, maash, masoor, moong, rice, sugarcane, wheat, cotton, rapeseed, mustard & canola, groundnut, sesanum, linseed, guar seed, sunflower, sunn hemp, castor seed, and fodder.

Fruits grown in the area include citrus, mangoes, guavas, dates, jaamuns, figs, and phalsa.

Vegetable produce of the area includes turnips, onions, carrots, potatoes, chilies, cauliflower, peas, bottle gourd, brinjals, tomatoes, and garlic.

Land Use

The following table shows the main land use statistics of the Bhakkar district as per Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19:

Total Area 816,300 HA Reported Area 813,000 HA
Total Cultivated Area 746,000 HA Net Sown 655,000 HA
Current Fallows 91,000 HA Total Uncultivated Area 67,000 HA
Culturable Waste 14,000 HA Forest Area 20,000 HA

Table 1.7 Bhakkar Land Use Statistics

Livestock

The following table shows the livestock population as of 2006 Census of Livestock (retrieved from Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19):

Cattle 658,000 Heads Buffaloes 234,000 Heads Sheep 546,000 Heads
Goats 1,038,000 Heads Camels 8,462 Heads Horses 2,370 Heads
Mules 237 Heads Asses 31,769 Heads

Table 1.8 Bhakkar Livestock Statistics

The local breeds are thalli sheep and dhanni cow.

Poultry

According to Table 17 (Number of Commercial Poultry Farms and Number of Birds by Size of Flock), there are 95 public poultry farms in the district.

Fishing

Fishing activity is carried out in the water areas of the district, but most of this fish is consumed locally. Fishing is carried out upstream and downstream of Darya Khan Bridge, Thal Canal, and Khaddi Nullah.

Bee Keeping/ Apiculture

Commercial bee keeping is carried out in various forests and farms in the district.

Irrigation

Bhakkar district is part of the Thal tract, and is situated in valleys called Pattes (inter-dunal valleys) and dunes. About 70% of the area of the district is covered by sand dunes. The inter-dunal valleys are the only productive parts of the district. This part is irrigated by the Thal Canal of Chashma-Jhelum Link Canal off-taking from Jinnah Barrage, and is the main canal providing irrigation water to the district.

The following table shows the modes of irrigation and area irrigated by each mode as per Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19:

Total Area Sown 828,000 HA Irrigated Area 430,000 HA
Un-Irrigated Area 398,000 HA Canal Irrigated 121,000 HA
Dug Wells 1,000 HA Tube Well Irrigated 177,000 HA
Canal Well Irrigated 2,000 HA Canal Tube Wells 129,000 HA

Table 1.11 Bhakkar Irrigation Statistics

Figure 1.7 Palwarni Headworks Thal Canal, Bhakkar

Minerals and Mining

There is no mining activity in the district.

Industry

At present, there is no industrial estate in the district, but there are 14 different[1] manufacturing industries scattered in various areas of the district as follows:

Type of Industry Number
Cold Storage 01
Cotton Ginning and Pressing 05
Flour Mills 04
Industrial Machinery 01
Rice Mills 01
Sugar 01
Vermicelli 01

Table 1.9 Bhakkar Industrial Units

Handicrafts

The making of mats and other household products from wild grasses such as khai and kunder is the main handicraft of the district. Other handmade goods include embroidery on clothes, caps, and leather goods.

 

Economic Infrastructure

Bhakkar district is one of the underdeveloped districts in terms of economic infrastructure; however, all the towns and major villages of the district are connected with the district headquarter and other parts of Pakistan through black topped roads.

Roads

The district is linked with Mianwali, Layyah, Multan, Jhang, and Dera Ismail Khan districts through black topped roads.

The following table shows the district’s road statistics as per Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19:

Total Black Topped Roads 2,671.3 km
National Highways – km
Motorways – km
Provincial Highways 2,575.5 km
Sugar Cess Roads 95.78 km

Table 1.10 Bhakkar Road Statistics

Following are some of the important road links of the district:

  • Bhakkar-Jhang Road
  • Bhakkar-Layyah Road
  • Khansar Road
  • Kallurkot Road
  • Darya Khan-Dullewala Road
  • Bhakkar-Mankera Road

Rail and Airways

The Kundian-Multan Cantonment section of Pakistan Railways provides the major rail links to the district. The district is linked with Mianwali and Layyah districts through this railway network. The main railway stations of the district include Bhakkar Railway Station, Darya Khan Railway Station, Kallurkot Railway Station, and Behal Railway Station.

There are no airports in the district; the nearest airport is the airport at Dera Ismail Khan.

Figure 1.6 Railway Station Bhakkar

Radio and Television

At present, there is no private local radio station in the district. Cable TV can be viewed throughout the district.

Telecommunications

There are 21 telephone exchanges[1] operating in the district, each ranging in capacity from 50 lines to 3,244 lines. Nearly all of the major cellular companies also operate in the district.

Post Offices/ Courier Services

Pakistan Post has its headquarters[2] in Bhakkar City, and there are a total of 21 Post Offices in the district, with 11 in Bhakkar Tehsil, 3 in Kallurkot Tehsil, 4 in Mankera Tehsil, and 3 in Darya Khan Tehsil. Nearly all the courier services of Pakistan provide their services in the district.

Banking/ Financial Institutions

In all, a total of 36 branches[3] of various banks are operating in the district. Of these, 17 are in Bhakkar, 5 in Kallurkot, 5 in Mankera, and 9 in Darya Khan Tehsil.

According to the List of Reporting Bank Branches 2019 issued by State Bank of Pakistan, the following banks have their branches in the district:

  • Allied Bank Ltd.
  • Bank Al Falah Ltd.
  • Habib Bank Ltd.
  • JS Bank Ltd.
  • Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd.
  • National Bank of Pakistan
  • The Bank of Punjab
  • The Punjab Provincial Cooperative Bank Ltd.
  • United Bank Ltd.
  • Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd.

In all there are 48 branches of various conventionnal banks and 04 branches of various Islamic banks in the District.

Electricity and Gas

Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO) looks after supply of electricity in the district. There are 12 grid stations, ranging in capacity from 66 KV to 132 KV.

Natural gas is not available in the district.

Education

The following table shows the details of educational facilities in the district as per Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19:

Institution Boys/Girls Institution Boys/Girls
Primary Schools 486/541 Middle Schools 96/100
Secondary Schools 71/43 Higher Secondary 09/06
Degree colleges 11/10 Other Higher Secondary[4] 03/-
Other Degree Colleges[5] 07/08 Technical Training Institutes[6] 05/-
Vocational Institutes[7] -/04 Commercial Training Institutes[8] 04/-
Universities Govt. Mosque Schools
Medical Schools Engineering Schools

Table 1.12 Bhakkar Educational Institutions

Health

The District Health Officer (DHO) is in charge of health services provided in the district. The DHO is supported by doctors, paramedics, technicians, and other support staff. The following table shows the number of health care institutions in the district as per Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19:

Institution No./Beds Institution No./Beds
Government Hospitals 05/529 Dispensaries 26/-
Rural Health Centers 04/92 Basic Health Units 41/82
T B Clinics 01/- Mother Child Health Centers 02/-
Private Hospitals Private Dispensaries/ Hospitals[9] 11
Sub-Health Centers 13/-

Table 1.13 Bhakkar Health Institutions

Figure 1.8 District Hospital, Bhakkar

Policing

The Inspector General Police (IGP) stationed at Lahore is responsible for overall law and order situation in Punjab. The Regional Police Officer (RPO) Sargodha region reports to the IGP and is responsible for maintaining law and order in Bhakkar district. The District Police Officer (DPO) Bhakkar is in charge of the district. The DPO Bhakkar has 04 Deputy Superintendent Police (each in charge of one policing circle); these DSPs control 11 Police stations[10] in the Bhakkar jurisdiction.

[1] Directorate of Industries Punjab, Pre-investment Study Bhakkar District 2012; Latest available.

[2] Directorate of Industries Punjab, Pre-investment Study Bhakkar District 2012. ; Latest available.

[3] Directorate of Industries Punjab, Pre-investment Study Bhakkar District 2012; Latest available.

[4] Includes Private, Federal and Schools owned by PAF and other organizations

[5] Includes Private, Federal and Schools owned by PAF and other organizations

[6] Pre-Investment Study 2012. Bhakkar District, Directorate of Industries, Punjab; Latest available.

[7] Pre-Investment Study 2012. Bhakkar District, Directorate of Industries, Punjab; Latest available.

[8] Pre-Investment Study 2012. Bhakkar District, Directorate of Industries, Punjab; Latest available.

[9] Three Year Rolling Plan 2010-13. District Bhakkar. GoPunjab

[10] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

[1] Directorate of Industries Punjab, Pre-Investment Study for Bhakkar district 2012; Latest available

Environment and Biodiversity

Bhakkar district is part of Thal desert and faces problems of desertification and drought hazard. The district is not industrialized, and hence, the only air pollutants are vehicular emissions and suspended dust particles. The ground water is potable and is used for irrigation purposes as well.

Flora and Fauna

Flora

The natural vegetation of Thal desert, which is a part of Bhakkar district, is xeroptic in character, consisting mostly of low shrubs and grasses. Since the introduction of the irrigation system through the construction of Thal Canal, a variety of tree species and crops have been introduced, some of which are phog (Calligonum polygnoides), farash (Tamarix aphylla), phulai (Acacia modesta), and Kandi (Prosopis cineraria). The main plant species of the irrigated plantations/ forests of the district are shisham (Dalbargio sisoo), babul (Acacia nilotica), and bahan (Populace euphractica). The main plant species of the riverine forests are babul (Acacia nilotica), bahan (Populace euphractica), lai (Tamarix gallica), jhao (Tamarix dioca) and mulberry.

The natural floral species found in the riverine areas include lai or salt cedar (Tamarix dioica), pilchi or French tamarisk (Tamarix gallica), khaddar or elephant grass (Typha elephantina), sarkanda or Bengal cane (Saccharum munja), kai/ kans or wild sugarcane (Saccharum spontaneum), navra or giant reed/ Spanish cane (Arundo donax), kikar or prickly acacia (Acacia nilotica indica), shisham or Indian rosewood (Dalbergia sissoo), ber or jujube (Zizyphus jujube), mesquette or mesquite (Prosopis juliflora), jand (Prosopis cineraria), khabbal or Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon), and bhan or Euphrates poplar (Populus euphratica).

The natural floral species found in areas outside the riverine tract include jandi or chhenkur (Prosopis cineraria), karir (Capparis aphyla), vann (Salvadora oleoides), peelu (Salvadora persica), kikar (Acacia nilotica indica), lana or bush seepweed (Suaeda fructicosa), lani (Salsola foetida), and khabbal or Bermuda grass (Cynodon doctylon).

Fauna

Mammals of the district include wolves, wild boar, jackal, hare, and fox. Birds include grey and black partridges, pigeon, doves, warblers, courser, and babbler. Migratory birds include the houbara bustard, sand grouse, quail, rain quail, and falcon. The reptile population includes various types of lizards such as sand gecko, and the orange-tailed skink, as well as snakes like Asian cobras, and Indian vipers.

Common fish species found in the river of the area include mahsher (Tormacrolepis), khaga/ thaila or catla (Catla catla), mori/ morakhi or mrigal carp (Cirrhinus mrigala), gulfam or common carp (Cyprinus carpio), dahee/ kalbano or orange fin labeo (Labeo calbasu), raho/rohu/dumbra or rohu (Labeo rohita), singhari or long-whiskered catfish (Mystus Osteobagrus), bachuwa or river catfish (Clupisoma garua), mullee or wallago/freshwater shark (Wallago attu), and saul (Challa Marulius).

Protected Wildlife Areas and Endangered Wildlife

Following are the protected wildlife areas of the district:

  • The Bhakkar Plantation Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Chak Plantation Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Rakh Ghulaman Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Fatehpur Plantation (protected/ reserved forest)

These sanctuaries provide protection to all the wildlife of the district.

The Thal Game Reserve, a nationally protected game reserve, is visited by a number of migratory bird species like the great Indian bustard, houbara bustard, and the sand grouse. Mammals inhabiting the game reserve include the endangered chinkara gazelle and desert fox. A variety of reptiles are also found on the reserve.