Punjab-Khushab

Introduction

District Khushab is located between 31° 33′ to 32° 43′ north latitudes, and 71° 35′ to 72° 37′ east longitudes. It is bounded on the north by Chakwal district, and on the northeast by Jhelum district. The River Jhelum flows on the district’s east boundary and separates it from Sargodha district; Jhang district is located on the district’s southeast, and its west boundary is flanked by Mianwali and Bhakkar districts.

District at a Glance

Name of District Khushab District
District Headquarter Jauharabad City
Population[1] 1,281,299 persons
Area[2] 6,511 km2
Population Density[3] 198.5 persons/ km2
Population Growth Rate[4] 1.8 %
Male Population[5] 49.8%
Female Population[6] 50.2%
Urban Population[7] 27.5%
Tehsils 3 Tehsils:

1.    Khushab Tehsil

2.    Noorpur Thal Tehsil

3.    Quaidabad Tehsil

Main Towns Khushab, Jauharabad, Noorpur, Quaidabad, Mitha Tiwana, Naushera, Uchhali, and Warcha
Literacy Rate[8] 59%
Male Literacy Rate[9] 75%
Female Literacy Rate[10] 44%
Major Economic Activity[11] Agriculture with its Allied Livestock Breeding & Fishing etc. 45.2%

 

Mining & Quarrying 4.6%
Manufacture 3.7%
Electricity, Gas & Water 0.3%
Construction 23.2%
Wholesale, Retail & Hotel/Restaurant 6.2%
Transport, Storage & Communication 4.1%
Financing, Insurance etc. 1.2%
Community, Social & Personal Services 9.5%
Others 2.0%
Main Crops Wheat, sugarcane, rice, groundnut, jowar, bajra, tobacco, moong, masoor, maash, maize, gram, oil seeds such as rapeseed & mustard, barley, cotton, sesanum, linseed, sunflower, and sunn hemp
Major Fruits Citrus, guavas, bananas, mango, apple, pomegranate, jaamun, dates, almonds, and pears
Major Vegetables Potato, cauliflower, tomato, carrots, chilies, onion, peas, garlic, okra, and turnip
Forests (area)[12] 46,000 HA[13]
Total Black Topped Roads[14] 2,167.0 km
National Highways[15] – km
Motorways[16] – km
Provincial Roads[17] 2,085.0 km
Sugar Cess Roads[18] 82.0 km
No. of Grid Stations[19] 6 grid stations, ranging in capacity from 66 KV to 132 KV. Electricity is transmitted and distributed by Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO)
No. of Tel. Exchanges[20] 31 telephone exchanges, ranging in capacity from 300 lines to 4,000 lines
Industrial Zones[21] There is one industrial estate in Jauharabad; in all, there are 42 small, medium, and large industrial units in various parts of the district
Major Industry[22] Rice Mills 27 Units
Textile Spinning 3 Units
Cement 2 Units
Flour Mills 2 Units
Jute Textile 3 Units
Packaging, Woolen Textile Spinning 1 Unit each
Soda Ash, Vegetable Oil/Ghee 1 Unit each
Sugar 1 Unit
Household Size[23] 6.2 persons per house
Houses with Piped Water Inside[24] 20.9%
Houses with Electricity[25] 58.1%

Table 1.1 Khushab 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 public yet.

[12] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

[13] Land Utilization Statistics reports 41,000 HA under 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] Directorate of Industries, Punjab. Pre-Investment Study 2012, Khushab District; Latest available.

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

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

[22] Directorate of Industries, Punjab. Pre-Investment Study 2012, Khushab District; 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 HistoryGovernmental StructureAdministrative DivisionsHistoric Sites and Tourist Attractions

Brief History of the District

The word Khushab has been derived from two Persian words: Khush meaning happy or to please and Aab meaning water; thus, the word means “pleasing waters.” It is believed that this name was given to the town by the Emperor Sher Shah Suri, who, after a long campaign, camped near River Jhelum and on drinking the waters of the river, proclaimed the water to be “Khush Aab.”

The main history of Khushab district is the same as that of Central Punjab; the area was a part of all of the different empires of India. Alexander the Great conquered the region in 326 BC; the Greek conquest was then followed by the Maurya Empire (322-185 BC), Indo-Greeks (250-125 BC), Indo-Scythian (or the Sakas; from middle of the 2nd century BC to 1st century BC), Indo-Parthian Kingdom (20 AD-50 AD), the Kushan Dynasty (60-375 AD), White Huns (455-533 AD), the Kabul Shahis (500 AD-1020/1026 AD), and the Delhi Sultanate.[1]

When the British annexed Punjab in 1849, Khushab was a tehsil of Shahpur district, which, in turn, had 3 tehsils: Bhera, Shahpur, and Khushab. In 1906 Sargodha tehsil was created as part of Shahpur district by taking portions of Bhera tehsil, Shahpur tehsil, and the Chiniot Tehsil of Jhang district. Shahpur town was the capital of the district, but in 1914 the capital was shifted from Shahpur to Sargodha; the district, however, continued to be known as Shahpur. After Partition, in 1960, Sargodha district was created, and Shahpur was designated as a tehsil, while Khushab and Bhera also remained tehsils of Sargodha district. In 1982, Khushab tehsil was separated from Sargodha district and upgraded to district level.

According to the Imperial Gazetteer of India:

In the reign of Muhammad Shah,[2] Raja Salamat Rai, a Rajput of Anand Tribe administered Bhera and the surrounding country, while Khushab was managed by Nawab Ahmad Yar Khan[3] and the southeastern tract along the River Chenab formed part of the territories under the charge of Maharaja Kaura Mal, Governor of Multan. At the same time the Thal was included among the dominion of the Baloch Families of Dera Ghazi Khan and Dera Ismail Khan.

During the anarchic period which succeeded the disruption of the Moghul Empire, this remote region became the scene of Sikh and Afghan incursions; in 1757 a force under Noor-Ud-Din Bamizai, dispatched by Ahmad Shah Durrani, to assist his son Taimur Shah, in repelling the Marathas, crossed the River Jhelum at Khushab, marched up the left bank of the River and laid waste the three largest towns of the District [Shapur District]. Bhera and Miani rose again from their ruins but only the foundations of Chak Sonu now mark its former site. About the same time, by the death of Nawāb Ahmdyār Khan, Khushāb also passed into the hands of Rājā Salāmat Rai. Shortly afterwards Abbās Khān a Khattak who held Pind Dādan Khān, treacherously put the Rājā to death, and seized Bhera. But Abbās Khān was himself thrown into prison as a revenue defaulter and Fateh Singh, nephew of Salāmat Rai then recovered his uncle’s dominions. (v.22, p. 213)

Mahmud of Ghazni invaded the Salt Range region in the early 11th century. Most of the local tribes converted to Islam during his reign. During the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal periods, the government at Lahore maintained only a nominal control over such remote western hilly areas as the Soon Valley and the Salt Range (part of Khushab district).

According to the Imperial Gazetteer of India:

After the final success of the Sikhs against Ahmad Shah in 1763, Chattar Singh of the Sukarchakia misl or confederacy overran the whole Salt Range while the Bhangi Chieftains parceled out among themselves the country between those hills and the Chenab. Meanwhile the Muhammadan rulers of Sahiwal, Mitha Tiwana and Khushab had assumed independence and managed the encroachments of the Sikhs. The succeeding period was one of constant anarchy checked only by the gradual rise of Mahan Singh and his son the Great Maharaja Ranjit Singh. (v.22 p. 214)

Ranjit Singh ultimately took control of Khushab in 1809 AD. The area passed into British rule when they annexed Punjab in 1849. During British Raj, Khushab was a tehsil of Shahpur district. In 1906 Sargodha tehsil was created and in 1914 Sargodha was made the capital of Shahpur district. Bhera and Khushab tehsils remained unchanged as part of Shahpur district. In 1947 this area became part of Pakistan.

In 1960 Sargodha district was created with Shahpur, Khushab, Sargodha, and Bhera as its tehsils. In 1982 Khushab tehsil was upgraded to District, with Khushab Town as its headquarters and 2 tehsils: Khushab and Noorpur Thal. In March 2007, Quaidabad tehsil was created from Khushab tehsil and Naushero was upgraded to sub-tehsil.

Governmental Structure

At the Federal level, Khushab 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 Khushab district has 1 District Council and 7 Municipal Committees as follows:

  • Khushab
  • Noorpur Thal
  • Quaidabad
  • Jauharabad
  • Naushera
  • Hadali
  • Mitha Tiwana

Administrative Divisions

Khushab district covers an area of 6,511 km² and is subdivided into 3 tehsils as follows:

Khushab Tehsil 32 Union Councils
Noorpur Thal Tehsil 10 Union Councils
Quaidabad Tehsil[4] 08 Union Councils
Naushera Tehsil[5] 06 Union Councils

Table 1.2 Khushab Administrative Divisions

[1] The Delhi Sultanate was a Muslim kingdom based in Delhi. This Sultanate consisted of 5 dynasties: the Mamluks (1206-90), Khiljis (1290-1320), Tughlaq (1320-1414), Sayyid (1414-51), and Lodhis (1451-1526)

[2] Muhammad Shah was a Mughal Emperor, who ruled Delhi from 1719-1748., He is also referred to as Muhammad Shah Rangila

[3] Nawab Ahmad Yar Khan belonged to the Tiwana family, considered to be the most important family of Khushab

[4] Formed in 2007.

[5] Formed in 2013.

Historic Sites and Tourist Attractions

The Shrine of Hazrat Badshahan in Khushab city is the only historical building protected under the Government of Pakistan Laws.

Non-protected historical/ heritage sites in the district include:

  • Taluja Fort: This is located on a huge rock outcropping with sheer cliffs overlooking the shrine of Kacchianwalla and the Punjab plains. The entire area is covered with the ruins of defensive walls, houses, and other structures made of large stone blocks. Although one building has been identified as a mosque, it is very difficult to distinguish other religious, military or civil structures. One of the most interesting features of the ruins is a large square tank made of flat rectangular bricks, which may have supplied water so that the fort could withstand a siege. In addition to architectural styles, evidence from any coins, which are found here, may help to indicate if this city belonged to the period of the Turk Sultans, Lodhis, or Mughals. Extensive remains of a cemetery and other settlements are on the slopes below the fort
  • Shrine of Hazrat Pir Khwaja Noori: He was a descendent of Hazrat Baha-ud-din Zakkariyya of Multan

Some of the tourist attractions in the district include the above noted wildlife protected areas and others, including:

  • Soon Valley: The valley begins from Padhrar village and ends at Sakesar, the highest peak of the Salt Range. The length of Soon Valley is 56 km, and average width is 14.5 km. The valley consists of beautiful lakes, waterfalls, jungles, natural pools, and ponds. It is also home to various natural resources, and fertile farms. Sabhral, Khoora, Naushera, Kufri, Anga, Ugali, Uchhali, and Bagh Shams-ud-Din are important towns in the Soon Valley. Kanhatti Garden, Sodhi Garden, Da’ep and Sakesar are tourist resorts. The Kanhatti Garden is located near Khabbaki village, and the Pail Piran village is the gateway to Soon Valley
  • Katha Saghral: This is a semi-hilly area with significant amounts of mineral deposits, including coal and salt which are all being mined in the surrounding area of this village
  • Sakesar: Thisis the highest mountain in the Salt Range area in the Potowar Plateau. It is 1,522 m (4,946 ft) high and is situated in Khushab district, but it can also be seen and accessed from the adjoining districts of Mianwali and Chakwal
  • Sath Shahani: This is a scenic village located near River Jhelum. After floods, the clay in the region turns red and fertile
  • Peelo Wainse: This is a renowned village of Khushab district. The village is famous for its natural beauty, high literacy rate, and hospitality. It is located in the Thal Desert and is named after the Punjabi poet Peelo
  • Warcha Salt Mines

Figure 1.14 Khushab Old City

Figure 1.15 Waterfall in Kanhatti, Soon Valley.

Topography

Khushab is a region of complex topography; it is part of the Sindh-Sagar Doab.[1] The district consists of:

  • Mountains and Soon Valley
  • Plains
  • Sandy dunes of the Thal Desert

Mountains and Soon Valley

A large area of the district is hilly and mountainous, with the mountains/ hills being part of the Salt Range which runs in the northwest of the district.

The Salt Range Mountains in the Khushab region are dominated by the 1,524 m high Mount Sakesar (which is also the highest peak of the Salt Range). From Sakesar, the range dwindles into a low narrow ridge, which turns north until it approaches the River Indus at Kalabagh, from where the Indus breaks through the Salt Range and flows between vertical cliffs. This mountainous terrain extends from east to west, and features flat valleys. When the Salt Range enters the district from Jhelum, it consists of 2 parallel ridges running in an east-west direction at a distance of 13 km from each other. The parallel ridges turn towards each other, narrowing the distance, and are connected to each other by a mass of smaller ridges near Sodhi, from where they open out to a distance of 22 km, suddenly narrowing to meet in the Sakesar Hills. These external ridges include many important valleys, with a general height of 610 m to 762 m above mean sea level, divided from each other by numerous ridges that are generally long and narrow.

The Soon Valley is a picturesque valley in the Salt Range. The valley starts from Padhrar village and ends in Sakesar, which was once the summer headquarters for the Deputy Commissioners of 3 districts: Campbelpur (now Attock), Mianwali and Shahpur (now Sargodha). It is the only mountain in this part of the Punjab which receives snowfall in the winters.

Figure 1.3 Soon Valley, Khushab

Plains

The Piedmont Plains[2] of the district constitute part of the Salt Range-Potowar Plateau and the Himalayan Piedmont Plains.

The plain areas of the district mark the end of the Potowar Plateau and the start of the Punjab Plains; the Plain forms a part of the western basin of the great Indo-Gangetic plain and lies mostly between 168 m to 213 m above sea level, with a gradual slope towards the southwest.

Sandy Dunes

The sandy dune area of the district is part of the Thal Desert, which is situated in the Sindh-Sagar Doab. Part of the Noorpur Thal tehsil constitutes the Thal Desert or sandy dune area of Khushab district.

Figure 1.4 Thal Desert, Noorpur Thal, Khushab

Rivers, Streams, and Lakes

There is only one river in the district¾the River Jhelum¾which enters the district from the northwest of the Bhalwal subdivision of Sargodha district, and joins River Chenab at the Trimmu Headworks.

Other smaller rivers/ streams, either perennial or intermittent, include Chakki Wahan, Sukh Wahan Chenki, Channi, and Dholarwala. Mahallian Spring is a natural spring of the district.

The Soon Valley has many beautiful lakes; two of these lakes¾the Khabeki Lake and the Uchhali Lake¾are renowned, and form part of the Uchhali Lake Complex which is a Ramsar Site. The Uchhali Lake Complex includes the Jhallar Lake as well.

Figure 1.5 River Jhelum at Khushab

Forests

The following table shows the type and total area of forests in the district (Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19):

Total Forest Area 114,341 A Under Provincial Govt. 11,512 A
District Govt. – A Un-Classed Forests – A
Reserved Forests 102,829 A Other Forests – A
Linear Plantation 1,365 km Resumed Lands – A

Table 1.3 Khushab Forests

Since the district comprises of all types of soils and terrain varying from the high hills of the Salt Range to the shifting sand dunes of Noorpur Thal, all types of forests like the thorny scrub forests of Thal Desert, subtropical evergreen forests, and tropical thorn forests growing on the Salt Range are present in Khushab.

In all, there are 41 small, medium, large Reserved Forests, and 80 Protected Forests under the Khushab Forest Division in the Naushera Range part of Salt Range.[3] Some of the important forests of the district include Khura Reserved Forest, Jauharabad Reserved Forest, Mitha Tiwana Plantation, Pail Piran Forest (Soon Valley), Katha Reserved Forest, and Khabeki Reserved Forest.

The vann or jal (Salvadora abeoides), karir (Capparis aphylla), jhand (Prosopis spicigera), malla (Zizypus nummalaria), kikar (Acacia arabica) and tahli or shisham (Dalbergia sissoo) are grown.

Figure 1.6 Kanati Garden Khushab

Soils

The soils of Noorpur Thal tehsil are sandy clay loam soils. The soils in the Salt Range area (Soon Valley) are heavily salt-infected, due to the brine water from springs flowing down the mountains of the Salt Range. The soil lying between the Salt Range and River Jhelum is heavily saline as well.

Climate

The district has two types of climate based on topography; the Soon Valley has a moderate climate, whereas the Thal Desert has extreme climate.

The Soon Valley, or the Salt Range, experiences great extremes in temperatures between the summer and the winter. The climate of the area is subtropical continental. Drought persists for a long time in the area and hot dry winds are frequent during the summer months. The winter season is longer and is accompanied by frost. Summer and winter both are cooler than those experienced by adjoining plains. Average minimum temperature is 1 °C (January) and average maximum temp is 36 °C (June). Temperature falls below freezing during winter, and summer is pleasant as compared to adjoining areas. Sakesar Hill and the adjoining areas of Soon Valley receive maximum rainfall because of their altitudes.

The climate of Thal Desert area is extremely cold in winter and very hot in the summer. Average rainfall varies from 185 to 300 mm. The mean annual temperatures can range from near freezing in winter to more than 50 °C in summer.

Seismic Activity

The district belongs to Zone 2A of the Seismic Zone Map of Pakistan, which means minor to no damage due to earthquakes.

[1] The area between the River Sindh and River Jhelum is the Sindh-Sagar Doab.

[2] Piedmont Plains are the Plains which are found at the foot of hills or mountains. Piedmont Plains are formed by the deposition of materials.

[3] Legal Classification and Forest Types, by Punjab Forest Department 2018

Population

The following table shows the population figures for Khushab district as per the 2017 Census:

District/Tehsil Area km2 Population Male% Female% Urban% Growth Rate %
Khushab District 6,511 1,281,299 49.8 50.2 27.6 1.84
Khushab Tehsil 4,011 689,742
Noorpur Thal 2,500 243,295
Quaidabad Tehsil Formed in 2007, from Khushab Tehsil 230,320
Nowshera Tehsil Formed in 2013 from Khushab Tehsil 117,942

Table 1.4 Khushab Population Statistics

Religions[1]

Muslims 98.5%
Christians 1.2%
Hindus Negligible %
Ahmadis 1.4%
Scheduled Castes Negligible %
Others Negligible %

Table 1.5 Khushab Religious Distribution

Languages[2]

Urdu 1.5%
Punjabi 96.8%
Sindhi 0.1%
Pushto 0.7%
Balochi Negligible %
Seraiki 0.6%
Others 0.3%

Table 1.6 Khushab 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 economy of the district is essentially agrarian and agriculture is its backbone. The main occupations of the district are:

  • Agriculture with its Allied Livestock Breeding & Fishing etc. (45.2%)
  • Mining & Quarrying (4.6%)
  • Manufacture (3.7%)
  • Electricity, Gas & Water (0.3%)
  • Construction (23.2%)
  • Wholesale, Retail & Hotel/ Restaurant (6.2%)
  • Transport, Storage & Communication (4.1%)
  • Financing, Insurance etc. (1.2%)
  • Community, Social & Personal Services (9.5%)
  • Others (2.0%)

Land Use

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

Reported Area 654,000 HA Cultivated Area 460,000 HA
Net Sown 455,000 HA Current Fallows 5,000 HA
Uncultivated Area 194,000 HA Culturable Waste 69,000 HA
Forest Area 41,000 HA

Table 1.7 Khushab Land Use Statistics

Agriculture

The district belongs to the Sandy Desert and the Northern Irrigated Plains Agro-Ecological Zone of Pakistan. The main crops of the district include wheat, sugarcane, rice, groundnut, jowar, bajra, tobacco, moong, masoor, maash, maize, gram, oil seeds such as rapeseed & mustard, barley, cotton, sesanum, linseed, sunflower, and sunn hemp.

Fruits of the district include citrus, guavas, bananas, mango, apple, pomegranate, jaamun, dates, almonds, and pears.

Main vegetables are potato, cauliflower, tomato, carrots, chilies, onion, peas, garlic, okra, and turnip.

Livestock Breeding

Livestock breeding is the second most important economic activity of the district.

The following table gives the livestock population as of the 2010 Census of Livestock (quoted in Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19):

Cattle 168,000 Heads Buffaloes 502,000 Heads Sheep 250,000 Heads
Goats 636,000 Heads Camels 3,717 Heads Horses 3,705 Heads
Mules 2,095 Heads Asses 31,521 Heads

Table 1.8 Khushab Livestock Statistics

Thalli sheep, Salt Range sheep, and dhanni cow are the indigenous breeds of the district.

Figure 1.7 Thalli sheep

Figure 1.8 Salt Range sheep

Poultry

According to Table 17 (Number of Commercial Poultry Farms and Number of Birds by Size of Flock), there are 337 poultry farms in the district. In addition according to Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19 there are 50 broiler, 06 layer and 01 poultry breeding far in the District (all Privately owned).

Fishing

Fishing is carried out in River Jhelum (Khushal tehsil), Thal Canal (Mahajar Branch), Jauharabad Drain, Ganda Nullah Khushab, Chashma-Jhelum Link Canal, and Punj Saim Nullah in the district.[1] Most of the fish is consumed locally and very little is exported to other parts of Pakistan.

Bee Keeping/ Apiculture

In Pakistan, honey bee colonies were introduced in the 1980s, and since then, more than 300,000 honey bee colonies have been successfully established in Pakistan, including the Khushab district.

[1] Fish Manual, Punjab Department of Fisheries, Punjab

Irrigation

The district is irrigated by canals, tube wells, and canal tube wells. The Chashma-Jhelum Link Canal Tail (off-taking from Chashma Barrage) and the Muhajir and Dullewala branches of Thal Canal (off-taking from Chashma-Jhelum Link Canal) are the main canals irrigating the district.

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

Total Area Sown 475,000 HA Irrigated Area 170,000 HA
Un-Irrigated Area 305,000 HA Canal Irrigated 108,000 HA
Dug Wells 9,000 HA Tube Well Irrigated 40,000 HA
Canal Well Irrigated 2,000 HA Canal Tube Wells 6,000 HA
Others 5,000 HA

Table 1.11 Khushab Irrigation Statistics

Minerals and Mining

Precious mineral resources like salt, coal, and gypsum have been found and are being mined in the Salt Range of the district.[1] Other minerals of the district include argillaceous clay, bauxite, bentonite, coal, gypsum, fireclay, limestone, marble, ochers, rock salt, silica sand, latrite, and iron ore.

OGDCL (Oil Gas Development Corporation) has recently started drilling work in Khushab district in order to research possible gas deposits in the region.

Industry

Currently, there is 1 Industrial Estate[2] in Jauharabad tehsil and 42 small, medium, and large industrial units in the district. Industry-wise number of units in the district is as follows:

Type of Industry Number of Units Type of Industry Number of Units
Cement 02 Packages 01
Jute Textile 03 Rice Mills 27
Flour mills 02 Soda Ash 01
Sugar 01 Textile Spinning 03
Vegetable ghee/ oil[3] 01 Woolen Textile spinning[4] 01

Table 1.9 Khushab Industries

Khushab Nuclear Complex is a plutonium production nuclear reactor and heavy water complex in Khushab district.

Trade

Rock salt extracted from the salt mines of the Salt Range is the major trade commodity of the district. The salt mines at Warcha produce the best quality of rock salt. A variety of rock salt products such as lamps and other decorative pieces are being exported. It is believed that the lamps made of rock salt have therapeutic effects, since they act as natural ionizers especially for asthma patients. Other products include Salt Bricks (used to melt snow on roads, pavements etc.), salt licks (for horses and other animals), and bath soaps in salt.

Figure 1.9 Rock Salt Lamp

Figure 1.10 A View of the Warcha Salt Mines, Khushab

Handicrafts

Khaddar weaving on handlooms is the main traditional craft of Khushab district because of lower overheads and lower cost of production. The cloth produced in Khushab is, in fact, of attractive appearance and fine quality. Hand-knotted carpets, embroidered household goods made of cotton, silk fabric, and embroidery on leather are other handicrafts of the district.

[1] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

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

[3] Economy of Pakistan, published by Amazon University Press

[4] Economy of Pakistan, published by Amazon University Press

Economic Infrastructure

Khushab district is a mostly rural district, and does not have a well-developed road infrastructure, especially near the Salt Range. The district is linked with Sargodha, Mianwali, Bhakkar, and Jhang districts through black topped roads. The tehsil headquarters are also linked with district headquarters Khushab and the capital Jauharabad with black topped roads.

Roads

Total length of black topped roads in the district as per Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19 is as follows:

Total Road Length 2,166.99 km
National Highways – km
Provincial Highways 2,084.95 km
Motorways – km
Sugar Cess Roads 82.0 km

Table 1.10 Khushab Road Statistics

Some of the important road links of the district include

  • Khushab-Sargodha Road
  • Khushab-Pail Piran-Motorway M-2
  • Khushab-Mianwali Road
  • Khushab-Chiniot Road

Figure 1.16 Soon Valley Road; Khushab

Rail and Airways

There is a railway station in both Khushab and Quaidabad.

There is, however, no airport in Khushab district; the nearest airport is Faisalabad Airport.

Radio and Television

There is no AM/ FM radio station in Khushab, nor is there a television station in the district, but TV can be viewed through Cable.

Telecommunications

Pakistan Telecommunications Ltd. has established a network of telephone lines. In all, there are 31 telephone exchanges[1] operating in the district (ranging in capacity from 300 lines to 4,000 lines). In addition, a number of cellular companies also provide their services in the district.

Post Offices/ Courier Services

There are nearly 54 offices[2] of Pakistan Post in the district, with 31 branches in Khushab tehsil, 8 in Noorpur Thal tehsil and 15 in Quaidabad tehsil.

 

Figure 1.17 Post Office Khushab

Banking/ Financial Institutions

There are a total of 44 branches[3] of various banks in the district, with 30 in Khushab tehsil and 14 in Noorpur Thal tehsil.

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

  • Allied Bank
  • Bank Alfalah
  • Habib Bank
  • Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd.
  • Meezan Bank Ltd.
  • National Bank of Pakistan
  • The Bank of Punjab Ltd.
  • United Bank Ltd.
  • Zarai Taraqiati Bank

In all there are 66 branches of various conventional banks and 06 branches of different Islamic banks in the District.

Electricity and Gas

There are 6 grid stations[4] in the district, ranging in capacity from 66 KV to 132 KV. Natural Gas is available in Khushab, Jauharabad, Mitha Tiwana, and Hadali Quaidabad Towns.

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

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

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

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

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 462/272 Middle Schools 76/59
Secondary Schools 69/47 Higher Secondary 05/06
Degree Colleges 08/13 Other Higher Secondary[1] 01/01
Other Degree Colleges[2] 05/10 Technical Training Institutes[3] 03/-
Vocational Institutes[4] -/03 Commercial Training Institutes[5] 03/-
Universities[6] 02 Govt. Mosque Schools -/-
Medical Schools Engineering Schools

Table 1.12 Khushab Educational Institutions

There is a Government Cadet College in Khushab district and a large number of private schools and colleges.

Figure 1.18 Government College, Jauharabad

Figure 1.19 University of Education, Jauharabad Campus

Figure 1.20 Technical Model High School, Jauharabad.

Health

The District Health Officer (DHO) is overall 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 (Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19):

Facility Number Facility Number
Hospitals 07/447 Dispensaries 39/-
Rural Health Centers 05/100 Basic Health Units 43/86
T.B. Clinics -/- Sub-Health Centers -/-
Mother Child Health Centers 07/- Private Hospitals 02/50
Private Health Care Providers[7] 12/NA

Table 1.13 Khushab Health Institutions

Policing

Deputy Inspector General Police looks after the Sargodha region which includes Sargodha, Khushab, Mianwali, and Bhakkar districts. Khushab district is further subdivided into 3 subdivisions and 9 police stations.[8] The police force in each region is headed by a District Police Officer who is assisted by a varying number of Superintendents and Deputy Superintendents of Police.

Figure 1.21 SSP Police Office Khushab

[1] Includes Private, Federal and Schools owned by PAF

[2] Includes Private, Federal and Schools owned by PAF

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

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

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

[6] Campus of University of Education, Jauharabad and Campus of Pir Mahar Ali Shah, Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi

 

[7] Three Years Rolling Plan 2010-13, Khushab District (GoPunjab) ; Latest available.

 

[8] Punjab Development Statistics 2018-19

Environment and Biodiversity

The district consists of such diverse physical features as mountains (the Salt Range and Soon Valley), deserts (Thal Desert area in Noorpor Thal tehsil), and piedmonts plains. This results in extreme biodiversity in both flora and fauna.

Since the district is relatively free of industries, environmental pollution is under control and not a significant issue for the district.

Flora and Fauna

Flora

Trees of the Salt Range and Soon Valley mostly consist of waleti kikar (Acacia farnesiana), phulai (Acacia modesta), kikar (Acacia nilotica), aak (Calotropis procera), bhang (cannabis sativa), karir (capparis deciduas), lasora (Cordia dicotoma), sanatha (Dodonaea viscosa), and vann (Salvadora abeoides). Grasses of the Salt Range include nari, dab, babhir, and kahi.

The flora of Thal Desert include trees like jand (Prosopis spicigera), karil (Capparis deciduas), and aak (Calotropis procera).

Marsh vegetation of Uchhali Lake Complex is composed of dominant aquatic plants such as Carex fedia, Hydrilla verticillata, Juncus sp, Phragmites karka, Potamogeton crispus, Saccharum spontaneum, Typha angustata, Vallisneria spiralis, and Zannichellia palustris. The natural vegetation of the region is a mixture of subtropical semi-evergreen forests and tropical thorn forests with species such as kikar (Acacia modesta), Malabar nut (Adhatoda vasica), Hopbush (Dodonea viscosa), wild olives (Olea ferruginea), athel pine (Tamarix aphylla), Indian rennet (Withania coagulans) and jujube (Zizyphus spp).

Fauna

Urial, wild boar, golden jackal, Indian grey mongoose, leopard, Asiatic jackal, fox, wild cats, and wild hare are mammal species of the Salt Range and the Soon Valley. Common bird species are black kite, black and grey partridge, red turtle dove, Indian dove, house swift, golden oriole, chakor, common quail, varieties of grebes, stilts, coots, herons, flamingo, graylag goose, white-headed ducks, and black breasted quail. About 23 various species of lizards and 25 species of snakes are found in the desert.

Fish fauna of the Uchhali Wetland Complex include mahaseer, dogra, chilwa, subzug, pathar chat, sundali, and gumbasia. A large number of fish have been introduced in the 3 lakes of the Uchhali Wetland Complex for breeding. There is a large variety of reptiles and amphibians in the complex such as marbled toad or daddo, spiny ground lizard, fat-tailed gecko, black rock agama, yellow bellied house gecko, Salt Range ground gecko, desert monitor (goh), brahminy blind snake, Indian sand boa, striped keel backed snake, and black cobra.

Protected Areas and Endangered Wildlife

Following areas have been declared wildlife protected areas by the Government of Pakistan:

  • Soon Valley Nature Reserve
  • Uchhali Wetland Complex, part of the Soon Valley Nature Reserve: This is on the Ramsar List of Internationally important wetlands
  • Khabeki Lake: This lake is on the Ramsar List of Internationally important wetlands
  • Jhallar Lake: This is also on the Ramsar List of Internationally important wetlands
  • Jauharabad Plantation Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Sodhi Lake Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Mitha Tawana Plantation
  • Sodhi Wildlife Breeding Center

The wetlands of the district provide shelter to all the migratory birds visiting the area and the game birds of Pakistan. The mammals found in various forests around the wetlands and the Jauharabad Plantation provide sanctuary and safe breeding grounds to urial, chinkara gazelle, grey wolf, porcupine, hedgehog, barking deer, and leopard among others.

Uchhali Wetland Complex, which includes Khabbeki, Uchhali, and Jhallar lakes, is spread over 1,243 HA and is both a Game Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary. This complex is an important wintering area for the rare or vulnerable white-headed duck, ferruginous duck, grey-lag goose, black-necked grebe, flamingos, shell duck, American flamingo, white cheeked bulbul, common babbler, blue whistling thrush, magpie robin, and large pied wagtail.

Figure 1.11 Uchhali Lake Complex, Soon Valley, Khushab

Figure 1.12 Ferruginous Ducks

Figure 1.13 Desert Monitor