Sindh-Ghotki

Introduction

Ghotki district is located in the Northeast of Sindh. The district is located between 27° 19Ꞌ 9” to 28° 18Ꞌ 19” North latitudes and 69° 10Ꞌ 12” to 70° 11Ꞌ 20” East longitudes, at an altitude of 72 meters (239 ft) from mean sea level. District Rahim Yar Khan of Punjab forms the Eastern boundary, while District Jacobabad forms the North, district Sukkur the West and Jaisalmir of India forms the district’s Southeast borders.

District at a Glance

Name of District Ghotki District
District Capital Mirpur Mathelo
Area[1] 6,086 km2
Population[2] 1,646,000 persons
Population Density 270.4 persons/ km2
Population Growth Rate[3] 2.8%
Male Population[4] 51.6%
Female Population[5] 48.4%
Urban Population[6] 24.5%
Tehsils 5 Tehsils:

1.    Daharki Tehsil

2.    Ghotki Tehsil

3.    Khangarh Tehsil

4.    Mirpur Mathelo Tehsil

5.    Ubauro Tehsil

Main Towns Daharki, Ubaro, Ghotki, Khangarh, Khanpur, Qadirpur, Keenjhar, Chandia, and Jangal Malik
Literacy Rate[7] 41%
Male Literacy Rate[8] 60%
Female Literacy Rate[9] 20%
Major Economic Activity[10] Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting 59%
Construction 19.7%
Community, Social & Personal Services 8.3%
Others 13%
Main Crops Cotton, rice, sugarcane, jowar, bajra, maize, sesanum, wheat, barley, gram, tobacco, rapeseed & mustard, moong, maash, arhar, masoor, and tobacco
Major Fruits Bananas, dates, guavas, mango, watermelon, musk melon, phalsa, citrus, and ber
Major Vegetables Okra, tinda, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, luffa, cucumber, dill, field vetch, turnip, brinjal, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, cabbage, peas, radish, chilies, onions, potatoes, and cauliflower
Forests (Area)[11] 9,191 HA[12]
Total Provincial Roads[13] 107.1 km
Access Roads[14] 481.8 km
No Of Grid Stations[15] 7 grid stations. Capacity of each = 132 KV
No. of Tel. Exchanges Pakistan Telecommunication Exchanges in all talukas of the district
Industrial Zones 1 Small Industry Zone in Ghotki

3 Large Industrial Units

4 Large Factories

51 Small Scale Factories

Major Industry Fertilizer, sugar, textile, oil and gas mining, cotton ginning, rice mills, flour mills, and ice factories
Household Size[16] 5.5 persons per household
Houses with Piped Water[17] 14.4%
Houses with Electricity[18] 59.4%

Table 1.1 Ghotki District at a Glance

[1] 1998 Census

[2] 2017 Census

[3] 2017 Census

[4] 2017 Census

[5] 2017 Census

[6] 2017 Census

[7] Pakistan Social & Living Measurement Survey 2013-14 (PSLM); latest available

[8] PSLM

[9] PSLM

[10] Ghotki District Census Report, 1998; 2017 Census data has not been made public yet.

[11] Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18

[12] According to Forestry Statistics; Land Utilization Statistics report 19,000 HA of forests.

[13] Road List issued by Government of Sindh 2009 (latest available)

[14] Road List 2009

[15] Environmental and Social Assessment HESCO by Elan Partners, 2007

[16] Ghotki District Profile, 1998 by GoPakistan, 2017 Census data has not been made public yet.

[17] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been made public yet.

[18] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been made public yet.

Brief HistoryGovernmental StructureAdministrative DivisionsHeritage Sites/Picnic Spots/Recreational Areas

Brief History of the District

Ghotki was founded by a General of Raja Ibn Selaj Birhman (a relative of Raja Dahir) of Sindh in 637 AD; he set up an army settlement/ camp in this area, which later became a village. In 639 AD, people of different tribes came and settled here and named the village Hath Sam. 2 years later, the village was deserted for unknown reasons. In the year 695 AD, fishermen again moved to the area, settled in the region and called it Miani. The Indus River changed its direction[1] and the village was again deserted.

In 712 AD Mohammad Bin Qasim conquered Sindh after defeating Raja Dahir, and Ghot Ibn Samed Ibn Patel (a Hindu grandson of Raja Dahir) was asked to settle in the region. Ghot accepted Islam and married a Muslim girl who gave birth to a boy, Tameer. This family became the beginnings of the Ghotta tribe. The Arab rulers awarded many jagirs (lands) to the Ghottas and named the village Dharwali. As the Ghotta tribe grew and became affluent, the name of the village was changed from Dharwali to Ghotki.

Since then, this region has been ruled by different dynasties, including the Soomras (1024-1351), the Arghuns (1520-1650), the Kalhoras (1657-1783) and the Talpurs (1783-1843). When the British conquered Sindh in 1843, all portions of Upper Sindh—including Ghotki, with the exception of the area held by the Khairpur Mirs (Ali Murad Talpur)—was formed into the Shikarpur Collectorate and the Frontier District.

During the rule of Mian Noor Muhammad Kalhora (1698-1775), the son of Yar Muhammad Kalhora of the Kalhoro Dynasty, a saint named Syed Mubarak Shah Jillani Baghdadi, a follower/ disciple of Saint Sultan Bahoo of Jhang settled in Ghotki. Due to his piety and good nature, he was given the title of Ghous Moosa Shah. To honor him, the name of the area was changed from Dharwali/ Ghotki to Loh-e-Saheban. His shrine was built at a village named Adalpur and, to date, many people pay homage to him by visiting his grave.

In 1887, Sir Charles Napier, an English Governor of Sindh, toured the area. The Muslim feudal lord of the region, Syed Saleh Muhammad Shah, refused to receive him, thus enraging him. Sir Napier cancelled all jagirs (lands) and sanads (certifications) of the descendants of Syed Mubarak Shah and awarded huge blocks of irrigated, fertile land to the Ghotta tribal chieftains in return for their loyalty to the British. Gradually, the town’s name changed back to Ghotki (of Ghottas) from Loh-e-Saheban.

At the time of partition, Ghotki was one of the talukas of district Sukkur, but in 1993, due to administrative reasons, it was given the status of a district with Mirpur Mathelo as its capital. It consists of 5 talukas: Ghotki, Mirpur Mathelo (district capital), Khangarh, Daharki, and Ubauro.

Governmental Structure

At the Federal level, Ghotki 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

The district has 2 Municipal Committees:

  • Ghotki
  • Mirpur Mathelo

It has 4 Town Committees:

  • Adilpur
  • Daharki
  • Khangarh
  • Ubuaro

Administrative Divisions

There are 5 Talukas of Ghotki district as follows:

Ghotki Taluka 10 Union Councils
Mirpur Mathelo Taluka 08 Union Councils
Ubaro Taluka 08 Union Councils
Daharki Taluka 06 Union Councils
Khangarh Taluka 03 Union Councils

Table 1.2 Ghotki Administrative Divisions

Heritage Sites/Picnic Spots/Recreational Areas

Following is a list of the important heritage sites, some of which are protected by the Government of Pakistan’s Laws:

  • Momal-ji-Mari, Ghotki (protected): This is a mound with ruins of a fortress, situated at a distance of 15 km from Ghotki town
  • Jamia Masjid/ Grand Mosque, Adalpur village, Ghotki: This was constructed by Syed Ghous Moosa Shah in 1732 AD. It is not protected by the laws governing heritage sites

According to the Sindh Strategy for Sustainable Development by IUCN, the following sites have been identified as potential tourism sites for Ghotki district:

  • Tomb of Noo Faqir Shah (Sufi Faqir Syed Anwar Ali Shah) Sufi Poet in Jahanpur, 16 km from Ghotki city
  • Garhi Barar Ja Qubba
  • Tomb of Bahar Shah
  • Gaddani ja Qubba
  • Tomb of Bhuddani
  • Tomb of Pir Lal Badshah
  • Jamia Mosque, Khangarh
  • Dargah Bharchundi Shareef. The tomb of saint and scholar Hazrat Hafiz Muhammad Siddiq is located at theDargah
  • Sant Satram Das Temple in Reharki Darbar, Reharki, Ghotki

Figure 1.7 Jamia Masjid, Ghotki

Figure 1.9 Women cleaning the Compound of Sant Satram Das Temple, Reharki

There are public parks in the district, where people can go for a short outing. These are:

  • Ali Muhammad Khan Park
  • Rehmoowali Park
  • Chawla Park

[1] The River Indus carries silt which is deposited along its banks in the plains where the velocity of the water is slow. Over time, the deposits exaggerate the curves of the river’s meandering course, with the river changing direction once the area is too small for it.

Topography

The district has a topography that is predominantly plain and flat. It can be divided into 3 distinct geographical parts:

  1. desert area
  2. cultivable area
  3. riverine areas or Katchho/ katcha

The desert area consists of hill-sized dunes of wind-blown sand known as Achhro Thar (white desert), and is generally known as the Thar Desert which, in turn, is the largest desert of Pakistan. Pakistan’s Thar Desert spreads over an extensive area which includes the Ghotki, Sukkur, Sanghar, Mirpur Khas, and Tharparkar districts.  The northern part of the Thar Desert, called Nara Desert, covers a major part of the Ghotki district, including the Ubaro taluka, Mirpur Mathelo taluka, Daharki taluka, and the Khangarh taluka.

The cultivable part of district Ghotki is located between the desert area and the riverine or Katchho area. This part is separated from the desert area by the Eastern Nara Canal and lies in the center of the district. This area is fertile and irrigated through the Ghotki Feeder Canal of the Guddu Barrage irrigation system.

Other parts of the district lie within the natural flood plains of the River Indus; these are called the riverine areas or Katchho/ Katcha area.

 

Rivers, Streams, and Lakes

River Indus is the only perennial river of the district. This river flows along the western border of the district. There is a natural stream called Bagga Wah and a lake called Nangwah in the district.

Forests

The total forest area of the district as per the Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18 is 9,191 HA[1]. The land utilization statistics quotes the area under forests as 91,000 HA.

Ghotki district has 2 types of forests: the riverine forests along the banks of River Indus and irrigated plantations. The total area covered by irrigated plantations (riverine forests) in the district is 11,431 HA[2].

Notable inland/ irrigated plantations of the district are Sarhad Forest/ Plantation, Belo Mirpur Plantation, and Adilpur Plantation. A major riverine forest of the district is Rounti. Other smaller riverine forests of the district include Keti Shah Forest, Panhwari Forest, Bindi Dhareja Forest, Qadrapur Forest, Ketiabad Forest, Ketiabad/Ketishahu Forest, Jahanpur Forest, Sundrani Forest, and Ding Forest. The predominant plant species of riverine forests include babul (Acacia nilotica), bahan or Euphrates poplar (Populus euphratica), athel pine or farash (Tamarix aphylla), lai or salt cedar (Tamarix dioca) and kandi (Prosopis cineraria).

The flora of the irrigated plantations includes talhee or shisham (Dalbergia sissoo), babul (Acacia nilotica), mulberry (Morus alba), Neem (Melia azadirech), cono or common tug tree (Conocarpus lanrcifolius), simal or cotton tree (Salmalia malabarica or bombax cieba) which are also grown for various economic and environmental returns.

Soils

The soils of the cultivable and riverine areas of the district are characterized by alluvial soils deposited by River Indus. The alluvium consists of a succession of layers of clay and sand. Deep below the alluvial deposits is a thick bed of sandstone with intercalations[3] of clay and siltstone layers known as the Siwalik formation.

Climate

The climate of the Ghotki district is arid subtropical, characterized by hot summers and mild winters. May, June, and July are the hottest months. The winter months are December, January, and February. The mean maximum temperature during summer is 44 °C and the mean minimum is 29 °C. During winter, the mean maximum temperature is about 23 °C and the mean minimum is 9 °C. August and September are hot, with high humidity. Fierce hot winds blow and occasional dust storms occur during May, June, and July.

The average annual rainfall of the area is 122 mm, with mean annual relative humidity of 52% and a wind speed of 80 km/ hr with a Northeast prevailing wind direction. Frost is common, and occurs during December and January.

During the summer, the wind direction is mostly southeasterly and in winter it is northeasterly. Flood season starts in June and continues up to September; the flood discharges are at their peak flows during July and August.

Seismic Activity

The district falls under Zone 2 A of the Pakistan Seismic Map[4] which means that there will be “moderate to low damage” by earthquakes.

[1] Land Utilization Statistics 2017-18 has been quoted in Sindh Development Statistics

[2] Environmental Impact Assessment Report for Sindh Irrigated Agriculture Productivity Enhancement Project. By Country Survey & Mapping Services and Fincon Services Inc.

[3] Refers to insertions between or among existing elements or layers

[4] See map included in the chapter on Pakistan.

Population

According to the 2017 Census, the population of the district is as follows:

District/ Taluka Area km2 Population Male% Female% Urban% Growth Rate%
Ghotki District 6,083 1,646,318 51.6 48.4 24.5 2.8
Taluka Ghotki 763 505,998
Daharki taluka 2,088 310,079
Khangarh 1,986 149,008
Mirpur Mathelo 593 327,944
Ubauro Taluka 653 353,289

Table 1.3 Ghotki Population Statistics

Religion[1]

Muslim 93.1%
Christian 0.1%
Hindu (Jati) 6.2%
Ahmadis 0.08%
Scheduled Caste 0.5%
Others 0.04%

Table 1.4 Ghotki Religions

Languages[2]

Sindhi 92.3%
Urdu 3.1%
Punjabi 2.9%
Seraiki 0.6%
Balochi 0.5%
Pashto 0.3%
Others 0.3%

Table 1.5 Ghotki Languages

[1] 1998 Census; 2017 Data Census 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 sectors of the district are:

  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting[1] (59%)
  • Construction (19.7%)
  • Community, Social & Personal Services (8.3%)
  • Others (13%)

Land Use

The following table shows the main land use statistics of Ghotki district as per Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18:

Land Use Area Land Use Area
Total Area 629,000 HA Reported Area 629,000 HA
Total Cultivated Area 238,000 HA Net Sown 184,000 HA
Current Fallow 54,000 HA Total Uncultivated Area 392,000 HA
Culturable Waste 117,000 HA Forest Area 19,000 HA

Table 1.6 Ghotki Land Use Statistics

Irrigation

Ghotki district is irrigated by the Guddu Barrage irrigation system. The Ghotki Feeder is the main canal irrigating the district. The following table shows the modes of irrigation and area irrigated by each mode as per Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18:

Mode Of Irrigation Area Mode Of Irrigation Area
Total Irrigated Area 104,972 HA Canal Irrigated 1,175 HA
Well Irrigated – HA Tube Well Irrigated 103,797 HA

Table 1.10 Ghotki Irrigation statistics

Agriculture

Nearly 75.5% of the population of Ghotki district lives in its rural areas, and agriculture and its allied livestock breeding is the main occupation. Nearly 58.6% of the total population of the district is engaged in agriculture. The district belongs to the Southern Irrigated Agro-Ecological Zone of Pakistan. The agricultural industry depends upon the Indus Basin Irrigation Canals and the seasonal flooding of River Indus. Cotton, rice, sugarcane, jowar, bajra, maize, sesanum, wheat, barley, gram, tobacco, rapeseed & mustard, moong, maash, arhar, masoor, tobacco, and guar seed are the main crops grown in the district.

The vegetables produced in the district are okra, tinda, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, luffa, cucumber, dill, field vetch, turnip, brinjal, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, cabbage, peas, radish, chilies, onions, potatoes, and cauliflower.

The fruits produced in the district are oranges, lemons/ limes, grapefruit, mosambi, kinno, mandarins, sour oranges, ber, bananas, dates, guava, mangos, grapes, watermelon, musk melon, and phalsa, among others.

Livestock

Livestock contributes roughly one-third to the total share of agricultural production. According to the 2006 Livestock Census, quoted in Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18, the statistics of livestock available in Ghotki district are:

Cattle 282,000 Heads Buffaloes 247,000 Heads Sheep 74,000 Heads
Goats 375,000 Heads Camels 10,000 Heads Asses 26,000 Heads
Horses 2,000 Heads Mules 1,000 Heads

Table 1.7 Ghotki Livestock Statistics

Red Sindhi cow, bhagnari cow, cross breed cattle, kundi buffaloes, kooka sheep, kamori goat, barbary goat, some breeds of thoroughbred horses and mehra camels are various breeds of livestock indigenous to Ghotki district.

Poultry

Most farmers keep a few head of poultry for a personal supply of eggs and meat. There are 298[1] commercial poultry farms in the district.

Fishing

Ghotki is situated on the left bank of River Indus, where inland fishing activity is being carried out on a small scale. Fishing is also carried out in various canals of the district. There are 98[2] fish farms and hatcheries in the district.

Bee Keeping

Honeybee keeping was introduced in Pakistan in the 1980s, when IUCN and UNDP introduced apiculture to the coastal villages of Sindh. Since then, honeybee keeping has been slowly and gradually growing as a cottage industry in nearly all parts of Pakistan, including Ghotki, as a sustainability measure.

Minerals and Mining

Ghotki district is rich in oil and gas deposits. The first discovery of natural gas deposits in the district was made in 1990 in Qadirpur Taluka, Ghotki. Another gas field is located in Daharki Taluka and an Oil And Gas Plant has been established in Khangarh taluka. Notable gas fields of the district include Mari Gas Field, Qadirpur Oil and Gas Field, Talu Gas Field, and Petronas Gas Field.

No other minerals are found in the district.

Figure 1.3 Qadirpur Gas Fields

Industry

Ghotki has a number of major industries. It hosts Oil and Gas Development Corporation (OGDC) offices and fields, Engro Chemicals factory, Fauji Fertilizers Factory, Mari Gas Company offices and fields, Liberty Power Plant, Petronas Oil and Gas Plant and offices, as well as offices of Tullow Oil Pakistan Ltd. among others.

There is one Small Industry Estate[3] in Ghotki, which houses a number of small industries as shown in the following table:

Industry Units Industry Units
Sugar Mills 02 Rice Mills 28
Flour Mills 15 Ice Factories 10
Oil Mills 20 Stabilizers and UPS Making 02
Fertilizers 02 Spice Factories No. not known

Table 1.8 Ghotki Industry

An Agro Export Processing Zone is being established in the district at Ruk Farm.

Figure 1.4 Engro Urea Plant

Handicrafts

One of the major handicrafts of the district is the decorating of trucks in traditional arts and designs. Some women have been engaged in creating and selling traditional embroidery (on different fabrics for domestic use), dress making, Sindhi caps, and handloom cloth. Wooden jewelry and decorative candles are also being made in Ghotki as part of the district’s cottage industry.

Figure 1.5 Truck Art Ghotki Sindh

Economic Infrastructure

The economic infrastructure of the district consists of roads and railways as well as water supply and sewerage systems. The district has potable ground water and hence, a majority of the district’s population gets water from ground wells.

Roads and Transport

According to the Road List 2009 provided by the Government of Sindh (latest available) the road lengths in the district are as follows:

Provincial Highways 127.8 km
Secondary Roads 216.7 km
Access Road 412.7 km

Table 1.9 Ghotki Roads Statistics

According to Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18, total length of black topped roads in the district is 976 km.

The National Highway N-5 bypasses Ghotki city. The length of the National Highway passing through the district is 80 km. Other important roads of the district are:

  • Ubaro-Guddu-Kashmore Road
  • Hassan Chandio Road
  • Road connecting Daharki with National Highway N-5
  • Road connecting Saeedpur to N-5

Rail and Airways

The district is linked with Karachi and Peshawar through Pakistan Railways’ main line going from Karachi to Peshawar/ Torkham. The main railway station is at Ghotki.

There is no commercial or military airport/ airbase in the district. The nearest airport is located in Sukkur.

Radio and Television

There is an FM radio station located in Ghotki city that broadcasts programs in the Sindhi language. Even though there is no TV station in the district, PTV transmissions can be viewed through boosters, and Cable TV is also available in some parts of the district.

Telecommunications

Internet is available in all talukas of the district and there are digital telephone exchanges in all talukas of the district. Nearly all the major cellular companies also operate in the district.

Post Offices/ Courier Services

Pakistan Post has its branch offices in each taluka of Ghotki district, and all major courier services of the country operate in the district.

Banking/ Financial Institutions

Most of the national banks of Pakistan, and some private banks, have their branches in all talukas of the district. Major banks[1] that operate in the district include:

  • Allied Bank Ltd.
  • Askari Bank Ltd.
  • Bank Al Falah Ltd.
  • Bank Al Habib Ltd.
  • Faisal Bank Ltd.
  • Habib Bank Ltd.
  • Muslim Commercial Bank
  • National Bank of Pakistan Ltd.
  • Sindh Bank Ltd.
  • Soneri Bank Ltd.
  • Summit Bank Ltd.
  • United Bank Ltd.
  • Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd.

In all there are 54 branches of conventional and 2 branches of Islamic Banks in the District.

Electricity and Gas

Ghotki district gets its electricity through the grid stations and transmission lines provided by Hyderabad Electricity Supply Corporation which is a subsidiary of WAPDA and is responsible for supplying electricity to most of Sindh province. There are 7 grid stations[2] in the district, each with a capacity of 132 KV.

Education

The following table shows the number of educational institutions in the district as per Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18:

Institution Boys/ Girls Institution Boys/ Girls
Primary Schools 1,586/173 Middle Schools 72/21
High Schools 35/04 Higher Secondary Schools -/-
Colleges 4/2 Technical schools 2/-
Commercial Training 1/- Vocational training -/ 1
Universities

Table 1.11 Ghotki Educational Institutes

In addition to the public institutions, there are private schools and colleges in the district as well.

Health

The following table shows the Government Health Care Institutions in Ghotki district as per Health Profile Sindh District 2017-18:

Institution No./ Beds Institution No./ Beds
Teaching Hospital -/- Specialized Hospitals -/-
Government hospitals 05/242 Dispensaries 33/-
Rural Health Centers 03/60 Basic Health Units 34/68
T B Clinics 09/02- Mother Child Health Centers 04/44
Private Hospitals 06/110 Private TB Clinics -/-
Private Dispensaries 03/ 04 Private MCHC -/-

Table 1.12 Ghotki Health Institutes

In addition, Engro Energy has established some Renal Dialysis Units in Mirpur Mathelo and Daharki Talukas of Ghotki district as well as Eye Care Units in Daharki Taluka.

Policing

The District Police Officer (DPO) Ghotki is the head of the Police department, who reports directly to the Additional Inspector General Police Sukkur Zone and is assisted by 4 Subdivisional Police officers (SDPOs).

In all, there are 15 police stations in the district.

Figure 1.10 Session Court, Ghotki

 

Figure 1.11 Cadet College, Ghotki

 

Figure 1.12 Muhammad Bin Qasim Park, Ghotki City

Figure 1.13 A Bus Stand, Ghotki

[1] List of Reporting Bank Branches by State Bank of Pakistan 2019

[2] Environmental Impact Assessment Hyderabad Electric Supply Corporation (HESCO) 2007 by Elan Partners Pvt. Ltd.

  •  [1] Table 17 Number of Commercial Poultry Farms and Number of Birds by Size of Flock[2] Livestock and Fisheries Department, Government of Sindh 2014[3] District Profile Ghotki District by Small Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA)

[1] 1998 Census. Rounded up from 58.6% 2017 Census Data has not been made public yet.

Environment and Biodiversity

Ghotki is basically a rural economy with nearly 84% of its population living in rural areas. Soil salinity is a major problem in the district. Surface water is only available through the Ghotki Feeder Canal and its offshoots. The ground water in most parts of the district is potable. Ambient air quality is also good.

Flora and Fauna

Flora

The main plant species of the irrigated plantations/ forests of the district are shisham (Dilbargio 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) and jhao (Tamarix dioca).

Other common tree species include kandi (Prosopis specigera), karir (Caparis aphylla), ber (Zizyphus jujuba), pipal (Ficus religosa), neem (Azardus indica), peelu (Salvadora eleoides), and khabar (salvadora percica). The most common shrub is aak (Calotropis procera) and different species of grass including kan (Saccharum spontancum).

A large variety of medicinal plants is grown in the Nara Desert.

Fauna

Most common fauna includes jackal and wild boar but various kinds of deer, especially chinkara deer, fox, hyenas, and wolves are also present. Birds of the district include hawk, kite, crow, parrots, common sparrow, pigeons, talur, quail, houbara bustard, partridges, and water fowls.

The endangered mugger crocodile is found in the Nara Desert.

Protected Areas and Wildlife

The Indus Dolphin Sanctuary, spanning Ghotki, Sukkur, Shikarpur, and Jacobabad districts, is a protected area currently on the Ramsar list. A part of the Nara Desert Game Reserve also falls in the district. The Blind Indus Dolphin, chinkara gazelle, mugger crocodile, fox, hyenas, and the houbara bustard are endangered species in the district.

Figure 1.6 Nara Wildlife Sanctuary