Sindh-Khairpur

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Introduction

Khairpur district is located in the northern part of Sindh province. It lies between 26° 09′ and 27° 42′ North latitudes and 68° 10′ and 70° 10′ East longitudes. The district is bounded on the North by Shikarpur and Sukkur districts, on the East by India, on the South by Sanghar and Nawabshah districts and on the West by Nawabshah and Larkana districts. It is a place of tremendous historical significance for the subcontinent. The district’s history, in fact, dates back to 3300 BC, when the ancient Kot Diji—one of the oldest civilizations known to history—was a thriving civilization in the region.

District at a Glance

Name of District Khairpur District (Khairpur Mirs District)
District Capital Khairpur city (12th largest city of Pakistan)
Population[1] 2,404,000 Persons
Area[2] 15,910 km2
Population Density[3] 151 persons/ km2
Population Growth Rate[4] 2.3%
Male Population[5] 51.6%
Female Population[6] 48.4%
Urban Population[7] 32.3%
Tehsils/ Talukas 8 Tehsils With 76 Union Councils:

1.    Faiz Gunj Taluka

2.    Gambat Taluka

3.    Khairpur Taluka

4.    Kingri Taluka

5.    Kot Diji Taluka

6.    Mirwah Taluka

7.    Nara Taluka

8.    Sobho Dero Taluka

Main Towns Khairpur, Kot Diji, Faiz Gunj, Nara Town, Luqman, Shah Latif, Ranipur, Gambat, Khuhra, Jado Wahan, Piryaloi, Bhurgari, Bukhari, Kingri, Hingroja, Kumb, Subhodero, Therhi, and Tando Masti Khan
Literacy Rate[8] 51%
Male Literacy Rate[9] 69%
Female Literacy Rate[10] 32%
Major Economic Activity[11] Agriculture with its allied livestock farming, and fishing 61%

 

Construction 17.9%
Community, Social & Personal Services 14.6%
Others 7.1%
Main Crops Wheat, cotton, rice, sugarcane, jowar, bajra, maize, sesanum, barley, gram, tobacco, rape & mustard, groundnuts, moong, maash, masoor, and guarseed
Major Fruits Dates, mangoes, citrus, bananas, guava, watermelon, musk melon, phalsa, citrus, ber, mulberry, and lychee
Major Vegetables Okra, tinda, eggplant, peas, potatoes, onions, bottle gourd, pumpkin, melon pumpkin, luffa, long melon, purslane, beans, field vetch, lotus roots, turnip, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, cabbage, fenugreek, chilies, garlic, and coriander
Forests (Area)[12] 59,391 HA
Total Provincial Highways[13] 277.9 km
Total Access Roads[14] 1,019.3 km
Total Secondary Roads[15] 529.82 km
No of Grid Stations[16] 8 grid stations; 4 stations with capacity 132 KV and 4 with 66 KV
No. of Tel. Exchanges NA
Industrial Zones 2 Industrial Zones:

·        Khairpur Special Economic Zone (KSEZ)

·        Small Industries Estate for cottage industry

No. of Industrial Units and Major Industry 51 industries in total
Ice Factories 9 Units
Cotton Ginning 18 Units
Sugar Mills 2 Units
Date Processing Plants 4 Units
Handlooms 18 Units
Household Size[17] 6.0
Houses with Piped Water Inside[18] 16.0%
Houses with Electricity[19] 65.9%

Table 1.1 Kairpur District at a Glance

[1] 1998 Census

[2] 2017 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] Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18

[13] Road List Issued by GoS 2009, (Latest available)

[14] Road List

[15] Road List

[16] Environment & Social Assessment HESCO, 2007, latest available

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

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

[19] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been made public yet.

Brief HistoryGovernmental StructureAdministrative DivisionsHeritage Buildings/ Archaeological Spots and Picnic Areas

Brief History

The history of Khairpur shares in Sindh’s general history, till the Kalhora and Talpur dynasties of Sindh. Both these tribes arrived in Sindh during the invasion of the subcontinent by Nadir Shah[1]; the Kalhoras settled in Sindh and the Talpurs in Dera Ghazi Khan district of Punjab.

The Kalhoras became the rulers of Sindh and ruled Sindh from 1701 to 1782. During their reign, the Talpurs, who had also arrived in Punjab with Nadir Shah, came to Sindh from Punjab on the behest of the Kalhoras. The Talpurs thought of the Kalhoras as their spiritual leaders, and thus complied[2] with the request. Both clans lived peacefully till 1775, when Mir Bahram Khan, the chief of the Talpur clan was murdered by the then Kalhora ruler Mir Sarfraz Kalhora. The Talpurs retaliated and, after fighting a number of wars, defeated the Kalhoras in the battle of Halani in 1783, wresting control of Sindh.

In 1783 Mir Fateh Ali Khan Talpur, after defeating the Kalhoras, declared himself the Rais, or the ruler of Sindh. Subsequently, his nephew, Mir Sohrab Khan Talpur, founded the Khairpur branch of the Talpur family by 1784 and established his capital at Burahan, which he renamed Khairpur in 1786. He extended his territories over a vast area, eventually helping his kinsmen from Hyderabad expel the Afghans from the area by 1823. He divided his territories into 3 emirates, each ruled by one of his brothers. He himself retired to the Fort of Ahmadabad in Kot Diji (Khairpur) in 1811.

According to the Imperial Gazetteer of India

The dominion of Mir Sohrab Khan were at first confined to the town of Khairpur and a small adjacent tract of country; but by conquest and intrigue he managed to enlarge them until they extended to Sabzalkot and Kashmore on the North, to Jaisalmeer desert on the east, and to the borders of Cutch Gandava [now in Jhal Magsi district, Balochistan] on the west. In the year 1813 AD, during the troubles in Kabul incidental to establishment of Barakzai Dynasty, the Mirs were able to withhold the tribute which up to that date was somewhat irregularly paid to the rulers of Afghanistan. (v.15, page 211)

The death of Mir Sohrab in 1830 left his eldest son, Mir Rustam Ali Khan, in complete, though precarious, control over Upper Sind. His position had been little more than that of a regent during his father’s lifetime, and this was to remain unchanged until his youngest half-brother, Ali Murad, came of age. Unwilling to surrender power to him, Rustam sought to strengthen his position by entering into treaty relations with the British in 1832 in which he secured recognition by the British as an independent ruler of the region. He surrendered control over trade and other relations with other princely states to the British in April 1838, which was followed by full British protection later that year. Nevertheless, this did not save him from internal family disputes. Rustam’s youngest brother, Ali Murad, and the sons of Mir Mubarak Ali (Senior Amir of the Council of Administration) fought for control over the state, resulting in victory for the sons, but due to the treaty with the British, Rustam remained in control of the state, with consistent internal warfare. Peace was finally established in the region in 1842 through a negotiated settlement with the British which called for Rustam’s abdication, which he did in favor of his youngest brother Ali Murad.

Mir Ali Murad was a strong personality, who mistrusted the British. Nevertheless, he honored the alliance made by Rustam by assisting the British during some of their campaigns, but in 1851-1852 conspired against them. Accused of deception and fraud, he was stripped of most of his territories in Upper Sind in 1852 by the British, and was left with little more than his original emirate; his empire, then, included Khairpur, and its surrounding lands. Despite this setback, he cooperated faithfully with the British during the Indian Mutiny in 1857. On his death in 1894, after a long reign of 52 years, he was considered to be an honored and respected ruler of his Sindh empire.

He was succeeded by his second son, Mir Faiz Muhammad Khan, whose reign, as well as those of his son and grandson, was relatively short and uneventful. The last successor died in 1935, leaving an only son, Mir Faiz Muhammad Khan II, who had suffered from an unstable and nervous affliction for many years, so much so that he could not be trusted with the management of state affairs. The government instituted a Council of Regency under local ministers and ordered the Mir to live outside the state. After a period of 12 years, and shortly before the 1947 transfer of power, he abdicated in favor of his minor son Mir Murad Ali II (born 1933), in July 1947. The state acceded to the Dominion of Pakistan in October that year, and was merged into West Pakistan in 1955. The young Mir had reached his majority and had received full ruling powers just 4 years earlier, in 1951.  During his reign, his subjects enjoyed free education up to matriculation standard and free healthcare. There were no customs duties, property, income or wealth taxes, the crime rate was negligible, and light industries flourished.

In 1955, all Princely States and Districts of Pakistan were abolished, under the One Unit Policy and Khairpur State was merged into (then) West Pakistan. After the re-establishment of the provincial system in the 1970s, Khairpur’s status as a princely state was not restored, leaving the surviving members of the ruling class as figureheads. Mir Ali Murad Khan II (he is still alive in 2016) remains one of the few surviving first class rulers of the old Indian Empire, holding a public Majlis every Muharram at his sprawling palace, Faiz Mahal. He has long taken a keen interest in animal welfare and conservation, and established one of the largest private wildlife sanctuaries in the subcontinent, called Mehrano Wildlife Sanctuary. His younger son, Prince Mehdi Raza Khan, continues his father’s passion and oversees his conservation interests since his retirement.

Figure 1.3 Khairpur Princely State, Flag

Governmental Structure

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

  • Number of seats in National Assembly 03
  • Number of seats in Provincial Assembly 06

The district has 3 Municipal Committees:

  • Khairpur
  • Kingri
  • Gambat

It has 20 Town Committees:

  • Thehri I & II
  • Babarloi
  • Piryaloi
  • Ahmadpur
  • Subhodero
  • Hingorja
  • Ranipur
  • Khuhra
  • Agra
  • Kot Diji
  • Faqirabad
  • Kumb
  • Mirwah
  • Bozdar
  • Setharja
  • Tando Mir Ali
  • Karoondi
  • Paccachang
  • Choondiko

Administrative Divisions

The three-tier District Government system in Khairpur is comprised of 8 talukas (tehsils) and 76 Union Councils (with a membership of nearly 1,500 councillors) as follows:

Faiz Gunj Taluka 07 Union Councils
Gambat Taluka 09 Union Councils
Khairpur Taluka 14 Union Councils
Kingri Taluka 10 Union Councils
Kot Diji Taluka 11 Union Councils
Mirwah Taluka/Thari Mir Wah 11 Union Councils
Nara Taluka 05 Union Councils
Subho Dero Taluka 09 Union Councils

Table 1.2 Khairpur Administrative Divisions

Heritage Buildings/ Archaeological Spots and Picnic Areas

Some of the tourist attractions[1] of the district include:

  • Kot Diji[2] Fort: The fort is said to have been built by the Talpurs, and is located on a high hill with massive walls surrounding an elaborate complex of exquisite homes, ornate canopies, marbled courtyards, promenades, and long corridors with arched entryways. The corridors run along deep rooms which now, being uninhabited, can get infested with bats
  • Faiz Mahal: the palace was built in 1798 as the palace of the Talpur family in Khairpur Mirs[3]
  • Daraza Sharif: This is a small village, some 52 km from Khairpur, and is known as the location of the tomb[4] of Sachal Sarmast, a master of Islamic learning, who lived a pious life and composed poetry in Sindhi, Seraiki, Persian, and Urdu. Sachal Sarmast’s Urs is celebrated on 14th of Ramzan
  • Kot Diji: Also called Diji Ki Takri Mound, Kot Diji[5] is regarded as one of the world’s most important archaeological sites, dating back to 3300 BC, and thus, considerably older than Mohen-jo-Daro and Harappa. Excavations made in 1955 unearthed an astoundingly well-organized city with a citadel that testifies to its being the finest fortified town in South Asia
  • Maro Waro Dhoro Mound: This mound[6] is situated on a sand hill in Deh Naro Dhoro, 3.2 km East of Tando Masti Khan, Khairpur.

Other sites of interest include:

  • Rohri Hills: these hills are a tourist attraction. They are home to the tomb of Pir Ubhan Shah which located near Kot Diji
  • Bakri Waro Lake: This lake is situated near village Dubbi in Tehsil Thari Mir Wah. Tomb of Jamal Shah: It is located on the banks of Jamal Shah Lake. Waters of this lake are popular as a cure for skin diseases
  • Tomb of Hazrat Pir Syed Muhammad Shah Jillani Baghdadi: This tomb is located in Gambat. The Pir came to Sindh in1775 AD from Baghdad, Iraq. He died in September 1795 at Gambat
  • Tomb of Sufi Saint Bachal Shah: It is located at Bachal Shah Jo Pawrho, (the neighborhood of Bachal Shah), and is one of the oldest settlements of the town of Khairpur. It is named after the Sufi Saint Bachal Shah whose shrine is located in the neighborhood. A three-day festival is celebrated every year at the shrine. The neighborhood is located by Khairpur’s main irrigation artery, Mir Wah, (the Mir canal)
  • Other famous shrines of the district include shrines of Nanak Yousuf, Ghulam Hyder Godrya Fakeer Shah Faulad Ali Fakeer Shah, Fakeer Ghulam Muhammad Talpur (Talpur wada)
  • Mehrano Wildlife Sanctuary: It is a privately owned wildlife sanctuary famous for its black buck and hog deer (both endangered) populations. This sanctuary is owned and managed by the present successor of the Talpur dynasty, Mir Ali Murad Talpur
  • Nara Desert Wildlife Sanctuary: The sanctuary mainly comprises of the low dunes or bhits interspersed with relatively flat plain areas locally referred to as Patt. This sanctuary is home to 28 species of mammals, 78 species of birds and 16 species of reptiles[7]

Figure 1.5 Kot Diji Fort

Figure 1.6 Faiz Mahal

Figure 1.7 A Lake in Dubbi village, Thari Mir Wah Tehsil

[1] Guidelines for Sensitive and Critical Areas Pakistan, Government of Pakistan

[2] Protected under the Government of Pakistan Laws

[3] Protected under Government of Sindh Laws

[4] Protected under Government of Sindh Laws

[5] Protected under the Government of Pakistan Laws

[6] Protected under Government of Pakistan Laws

[7] Bioecology of Nara Desert Wildlife Sanctuary, Districts Ghotki, Sukkur and Khairpur, Sindh, by Syed Ali Ghalib, Abdur Razzaq Khan, Afsheen Zehra, and Darakhshan Abbas, Department of Zoology, Karachi University.

[1] Nadir Shah was the Shah of Persia between 1756-1747. He was the founder of the Afsharid Dynasty. He attacked Delhi in 1739.

[2] Royal Talpurs of Sindh http://www.talpur.org/introduction

Topography

Topographically, Khairpur district may be divided into 2 parts:

  • the Plain Cultivated Area in the West comprising of Khairpur, Gambat, and Mirwah talukas
  • the desert area in the southeastern half of Khairpur district

The Plain Cultivated Area of Khairpur consists of an alluvial plain, which is very rich and fertile in the vicinity of the Indus and the irrigation canals. A small range of hills called Rohri Hills, which are limestone hill formations, acts as a buffer between the fertile agriculture habitat along the left bank of Indus and the Nara Desert, and is located on the northern part of the district. This range runs southwards from Rohri. The district is irrigated by 5 canals drawn from the Indus, as well as the Eastern Nara Canal which follows the path of an old bed of the Indus.

The eastern part of Khairpur district lies in the Nara Desert (which is a part of the Great Indian Desert). The Nara, Faiz Gunj, and Kot Diji talukas lie in this desert. This area is classified as arid, and is characterized by extreme temperatures, scanty rainfall, and severe droughts. The topography of the desert part of Khairpur district is marked with sandy hills, steep slopes, and vast low lying areas locally known as Patt. The sand dunes rise up to 150 m in height. The elevations within the interdunal valley vary between 60 to 80 m above mean sea level. The dunes achieve elevations from 80 to 99 m.

Rivers, Streams, and Lakes

Khairpur is situated on the East bank of River Indus. Some parts of the river flow through the district. Khairpur has its own resources of water through a canal web. Mir Wah canal is the main source of water for the land and citizens. A large number of dhands and dhoras[1] occupy land, especially in the Nara Game Reserve Area. These dhands are formed due to water seepage from Nara Canal and lie on both sides of the canal. Part of the Nara Wetland Complex, a Ramsar Site (Nara Canal area) lies in Khairpur district. This wetland comprises of 225 small, medium and large wetlands, some of which are seasonal, but most are permanent. These wetlands have both fresh water and brackish to saline waters, stretching from the town of Januji (Khairpur District) in the North to the Jamrao Head (Sanghar district) in the South.

Other lakes in the district, specifically in Dubbi village, Thari Mir Wah tehsil include the Khuth Sim/lake, Wadi Sim/lake, Jamal Shah, Tal, Wairo, Ganairo, Abad Dhand, Gujro Lake, and Naro Dhoro.

Forests

The district is home to riverine forests and rangelands. The main flora of riverine forests is babul (Acacia nilotica), bahan or poplar (Populus euphratica), lai or athel pine (Tamarix aphylla), lai or salt cedar (Tamarix dioca), and kandi or khejri (Prosopis cineraria).

In addition to the riverine forests, the district has a large area dedicated to rangeland. This rangeland supports a large population of livestock, particularly sheep and goats. The main flora of these rangelands are gum Arabic or khumbat (Acacia senegal), jand (Prosopis cineraria), desert teak or rohida (Tecomella undulate), kikri or baonli (Acacia jacquemontii), peelu or vann (Salvadora oleoides), karir (Capparis deciduas), African foxtail grass (Cenchrus ciliaris), Indian sandbur (Cenchrus biflorus), desert grass (Panicum Turgidum), and bansi grass (Panicum antidotale).

The Nara Wildlife Sanctuary situated in the Nara tehsil of the district supports plants like kapok bush or bui (Aerva javanica), phog (Calligonum pollygonoides), khip (Leptadenia pyrotechnica), and peelu or vann (Salvadora oleoides), fehl (Dipterygium Glaucum), (Limeum indicum), lemon grass (Cymbopogon jwarancusa), hoary pea or kanta punkaha (Tephrosia uniflora), phair (Dipterygium glaucum), and wild indigo (Indigofera hochstestteri).

Part of Nara Canal area which comprises of a Wetland Complex and a Game Reserve is located in Nara Tehsil of Khairpur district. This whole area is a designated as a Ramsar Site.

Mehrano, a private wild life sanctuary, provides refuge to a number of endangered species of mammals, reptiles, birds, and flora of the region. Other forests of the district are located in the Nara and Kingri talukas.

Soils

The district consists of different kinds of soil, each with its own characteristics.

The high-lying areas are created by sedimentation, caused by consecutive high floods inundating the high grounds. High floods bring with them coarser particles, often in the form of sand mounds and deposit sand bars.

In the vicinity of River Indus, the soils of Khairpur mainly consist of loamy and some sandy young stratified floodplain soils generally categorized as arid and semi-arid. Some parts of Khairpur consist of mainly loamy, part gravelly-fill soils with some rock outcrop and sand dunes. The most extensive eastern part of the district consists of rolling to hilly sandy soils. The western boundary of Khairpur and Gambat taluka is formed by the river with fertile alluvial soils and is covered with riverine forests. Salinity in the area is between 15-50%.

Climate

Climatically, Khairpur district is sub-arid to arid. Its eastern part comprises of the vast Nara Desert. The western part of the district is irrigated by 3 irrigation canals which take off from Sukkur Barrage, and is fertile. The district has 2 well-defined seasons: hot summers and cold winters.

The hot season begins after the middle of March and continues till October. May, June, and July are the hottest months. Mean maximum and minimum temperatures in the hot season are about 45 °C and 27 °C, respectively. Dust-storms are frequent, and fierce hot winds are common during April, May, and June. The cooling southern wind during summer nights is the only soothing element. December, January, and February are the coldest months. Mean maximum and minimum temperatures in the cold season are about 25 °C and 7 °C respectively. The months of August and September are the monsoon months; these months are humid and the air feels suffocating. Mean annual rainfall (most of it falling during July and August) is 120-230 mm.

Seismic Activity

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

[1] Dhands and dhoras are small rivulets left behind due to the meandering nature of River Indus.

[2] Please see chapter on Pakistan

Population

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

District/Taluka

 

Area km2 Population

 

Male

%

Female

%

Urban

 %

Growth Rate %
Khairpur District 15,910 2,404,334 51.6 48.4 32.3 2.3
Faiz Ganj Taluka 946 224,004
Gambat Taluka 582 263,746
Khairpur Taluka 585 439,563
Kingri Taluka 531 340,218
Kot Diji Taluka 520 348,889
Mirwah Taluka 631 352,491
Nara Taluka 11,611 160,985
Subho Dero Taluka 504 274,428

Table 1.3 Khairpur Population Statistics

Religions[1]

Muslims 96.9%
Hindu 2.9%
Christians 0.1%
Ahmadis 0.1%
Others 0.04%

Table 1.4 Khairpur Religions

Languages[2]

Sindhi 93.8%
Punjabi 3.2%
Urdu 1.4%
Balochi 0.7%
Seraiki 0.3%
Pashto 0.3%
Others 0.3%

Table 1.5 Khairpur 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 activities of the district are[1]:

  • Agriculture with its allied livestock farming, fishing (61%)
  • Construction (16.9%)
  • Community, Social & Personal Services (14.6%)
  • Others (7.1%).

Agriculture

Part of Khairpur district belongs to the Southern Irrigated Plain Agro-Ecological Zone of Pakistan. This zone is irrigated by the Indus Basin Irrigation System. The other part of the district belongs to the Sandy Desert Agro-Ecological Zone.

The main crops of the district are wheat, cotton, rice, sugarcane, jowar, bajra, maize, sesanum, barley, gram, tobacco, rape & mustard, groundnuts, moong, maash, masoor, and guarseed.

The fruits grown in the district are dates, mangoes, citrus, bananas, guava, watermelon, musk melon, phalsa, citrus, ber, mulberry, and leechee.

The vegetable produce of the district includes okra, tinda, eggplant, peas, potatoes, onions, bottle gourd, pumpkin, melon pumpkin, luffa, long melon, purslane, beans, field vetch, lotus roots, turnip, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, cabbage, fenugreek, chilies, garlic, and coriander.

Dates are the main cash crop of the district; nearly 85% of Sindh’s date produce[2] is from Khairpur.

Land Use

Agriculture, followed by forestry, is the main land use of the district. The land inside the Indus embankments is almost equally utilized by agriculture and forestry, while outside the embankments, land is more extensively utilized for agriculture in the form of sparsely distributed irrigated plantations. Land use statistics for Khairpur district as per Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18 are as follows:

Land Use Area Land Use Area
Geographical Area 1,574,000 HA Reported Area 1,574,000 HA
Cultivated Area 269,000 HA Current Fallows 78,000 HA
Forest Area 18,000 HA Culturable Waste 118,000 HA

Table 1.6 Khairpur Land Use Statistics

Livestock Breeding

Livestock breeding is an allied field of agriculture and hence, is an important economic activity of the rural population of Khairpur. The following table shows the livestock statistics of the district as per Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18:

Livestock Numbers Livestock Numbers
Cattle 493,000 Heads Buffaloes 528,000 Heads
Sheep 109,000 Heads Goats 901,000 Heads
Camels 18,000 Heads Horses 3,000 Heads
Asses 44,000 Heads Mules 1,000 Heads

Table 1.7 Khairpur Livestock Statistics

Bari, lohri, tappri or lappi, and barbary goats, dhatti or mehari, and larri or Sindhi camels as well as kooka sheep are the indigenous livestock breeds of the district.

Irrigation

Khairpur district is irrigated through canals off-taking from Sukkur Barrage. The names of the main canals and branches are: Khairpur East Canal, Khairpur Feeder West, Dadu Canal, Rice Canal, Eastern Nara Canal, Northwestern Canal, Nara Canal, Rohri Canal, Mir Wah, and Palh Wah. Mir Wah is the main source for irrigation as well as drinking water.

The figures for various types of irrigation being used in the district as per the Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18 are as follows:

Mode Of Irrigation Area Mode Of Irrigation Area
Total Irrigated Area 163,108 HA Canal Irrigated 136,256 HA
Well Irrigated Tube Well Irrigated 26,852 HA
Un-Irrigated Area 28,002 HA

Table 1.10 Khairpur Irrigation Statistics

Poultry

Poultry farming has been maintained mainly as a backyard business to meet household needs in rural areas. Commercial poultry farming is carried out in urban areas.

There are 613 poultry farms[3] in Khairpur district.

Fishing

Khairpur is an important inland fishing center of Sindh. Fishing is carried out in the canals and dhands/lakes of the district.

Minerals and Mining

Khairpur has good quality large deposits of Fuller’s earth and limestone; flintstone is also found in the outskirts of the Rohri Hills. Large quantities of natural gas were discovered in Khairpur Mirs in 1957, which has proven to be a strong source of natural gas.

Industry

Khairpur is one of the major industrial centers of Pakistan, with sugar, cement, date processing plants, and leather tanneries as the main industries. Ice making factories are another major industry of the district. The district also manufactures cloth, textiles, carpets, soaps, cigarettes, oil, ghee, and leather goods. Khairpur houses a cement plant that has 2 vertical cement grinding mills, making the plant one of the most unique cement plants in the world.

There is no Industrial Estate in the district, but a setup of a Special Economic Zone has recently been completed in the district. This is going to act as a future hub for agro-processing and other related industries.

The following table shows the type and number of industries in the district:

Sugar Mills[4] 2
Date Processing Factories[5] 9
Cotton Ginning Mills[6] 11

Table 1.8 Khairpur Industries

Handicrafts

The district is famous for its cottage industry. Many products are handmade; for example, by-products of the dates industry—the barks and the gigantic leaves of date palms—are used to make woven baskets, brooms, and other handcrafted products. The district is also well known for goldsmith work, embroidery on leather goods, as well as cotton cloth like soosi and khes. Trade in cotton bed sheets, cotton rugs, and handwoven carpets helps boost the economy in the district. Gambat taluka, in fact, has a small industry estate that houses a number of cottage industries.

The Citizen Community Boards (CCBs) are very active in the district and a number of projects have been completed successfully under this scheme in partnership with the District Government Khairpur. A number of schemes have been approved by the District Government and are in various stages of completion.

 

Economic Infrastructure

Khairpur is connected by rail with Peshawar and Karachi and by road with Sukkur and Karachi as well as Peshawar. The main railway stations are in Khairpur city and Gambat city. These stations are on the main railway line connecting Karachi to Peshawar. There are other railway stations on the branch lines connecting all talukas.

There is no airport in Khairpur, and the nearest airport is the Sukkur airport.

Roads and Transport

The district capital is connected with its talukas through metalled roads and with the interior through kutcha (shingled, non-metalled) roads. According to the Sindh Development Statistcs 2017-18 total length of black topped roads in the district is 2597 km.

A list of different types of roads in the district as per the Road List issued by Sindh Government 2009 (latest available) is as follows:

Total Provincial Highways 278. km
Access Roads 1,019.28 km
Secondary Roads 529.82 km

Table 1.9 Khairpur Road Statistics

Important roads of the district include:

  • National Highway N-55 (also called Indus Highway) passes through the district
  • National Highway N-5 passes through the district
  • Khairpur-Gambat-Ranipur Road
  • Kot Diji-Tajal-Sanghar Road
  • Nawabshah-Kot Lalu-Kumb Road
  • Road from Hyderabad to Mirpur Khas via Tando Jam and Tando Allahyar. This road is further extended to Umerkot district
  • Road from Hyderabad to Badin via Tando Muhammad Khan
  • Road from Hyderabad to Keti Bunder via Thatta, Makli, Gharo
  • Road from Hyderabad to Upper Sindh (Matiari, Hala, Sakrand, Moro, Nawabshah,

Naushero Feroze, Kandiaro, Ranipur, Khairpur, Sukkur) via National Highway N-5

  • Road from Hyderabad to Dadu via Indus Highway N-55. Major towns located on this road are Jamshoro, Manjhand, Sehwan

Radio and Television

Khairpur has its own radio station, called Radio Pakistan Khairpur. Pakistan TV can be viewed through TV booster stations and cable TV is also easily available.

Telecommunications

The district is equipped with digital as well as non-digital telecommunications systems along with post and telegraph facilities. There are a number of cell phone agencies providing telecommunications services in Khairpur.

Post Offices/ Courier Services

Khairpur district has a number of head and branch offices of the Pakistan Post which provide all the facilities provided by the Pakistan Post. In addition, all the Courier Service Providers provide services in the district.

Banking/ Financial Services

Some of Pakistan’s major banks[1] with branches in the district include:

  • Allied Bank Ltd.
  • Askari Bank Ltd.
  • Al Habib Bank Ltd.
  • First Women Bank Ltd.
  • Habib Bank Ltd.
  • Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd.
  • National Bank of Pakistan
  • Soneri Bank Ltd.
  • United Bank Ltd.
  • Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd.

In all there are 78 branches of conventional banks and 3 branches of Islamic banks in the District.

Electricity

Khairpur is connected to the main electricity grid of the country. Hyderabad Electric Supply Company looks after the transmission and distribution of electricity to all parts of the district. There are a total of 8 grid stations in the district; 4 of these have a generation capacity of 132 KV and 4 have 66 KV.

Khairpur district is renowned for using renewable energy resources for the supply of electricity to its villages. The date processing industry is using a solar and gas-fired dates drying system.

Gas

Natural gas is available for domestic use in the urban areas.

Education

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

Institution Boys/Girls Institution Boys/Girls
Primary Schools 2,639/327 Middle Schools 134/48
High Schools 109/33 Higher Secondary -/-
Degree Colleges 10/06 Polytechnics 05/-
Commercial Institutes 03/- Vocational Training 01/06
Universities 04[2] Medical Colleges[3] 01
Engineering Colleges Cadet College 01

Table 1.11 Khairpur Educational Institutes

In addition, there are a large number of privately owned educational institutions which deliver education from the pre-school to University level.

Figure 1.8 Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur

Health

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

Institution No./Beds Institution No./Beds
Government Hospitals 09/420 Dispensaries 87/12
Rural Health Centers 11/106 Basic Health Units 83/166
T B Clinics 11/- Mother Child Health Centers 05/10
Private Hospitals 10/30 Private TB Clinics -/-
Private Dispensaries 08/40 Private MCHC -/-

Table 1.12 Khairpur Health Institutes

In addition, there are 04 Maternity Homes, 21 Unani Shifa Khanas[4], 01 Homeopathic Dispensary and o1 leprosy clininc in the district.

Policing

The District Police Officer Khairpur district is responsible for the policing of the district. There are 10 subdivisions in Khairpur district, and each subdivision is managed by a Senior Superintendent Police. In all, there are 26 police stations in the district.

Figure 1.9 National Highway N-5 passing through Khairpur

Figure 1.10 Shrine of Sachal Sarmast

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

[2] Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai University, Mehran University of Engineering and Technology SZAB Campus, Agriculture Engineering University Khairpur Mirs Campus, LUHMS Khairpur Mirs Campus.

[3] Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences, Gambat

[4] UnaniShifakhanas/dawakhanas use herbal medicine for treatment.

[1] 1998 Census figures since 2017 Census Data has not been made public yet.

[2] Date Crop of Khairpur, District Administration, Khairpur, Sindh; 2011

[3] Table 17 Number of Commercial Poultry Farms and Number of Birds by Size of Flock

[4] Pakistan Sugar Mills Association

[5] Date Crop of Khairpur, District Administration, Khairpur, June 2011.

[6] 7 Cotton Ginning Mills are now closed/sick; List of Cotton Ginning Factories in Sindh, extracted from official website of Sindh Government on November 2014

Environment and Biodiversity

Part of Khairpur district belongs to the Thar and Nara zones of the arid parts of Sindh. The Nara Desert area is of immense ecological value as far as biodiversity is concerned; the ecosystem is a mixture of desert and a chain of wetlands.

Khairpur has poor development indicators, and a lack of literacy, lack of women’s access to health services, lack of access to water supply and drainage facilities are some of the major challenges facing developmental projects in district.

Since there are only a few industrial units in the district, the atmospheric air is devoid of industrial pollution. Dust particles and emissions from vehicular traffic are the main pollutants.

Flora and Fauna

Flora

The district is rich in flora, all of which can be found in 3 different habitats:

  • the flora of wetlands associated with the Nara Canal area consisting of a large number of dhands
  • the flora of the Nara Desert and the rangelands
  • the flora of the Khairpur area (riverine forests)

Flora of Nara Canal Area (wetlands): This consists of kapok bush or bui (Aerva javanica), phog (Calligonum pollygonoides), khip (Leptadenia pyrotechnica), and peelu or vann (Salvadora oleoides), fehl (Dipterygium Glaucum), Limeum indicum, lemon grass (Cymbopogon jwarancusa), hoary pea or kanta punkaha (Tephrosia uniflora), phair (Dipterygium glaucum), wild indigo (Indigofera Hochstestteri), milkweed or aak (Calotropis procera), sirin (Cassia italic), karir (Capparis deciduas), common needle grass or limb (Aristida adscensionis), sarkanda or wild sugarcane (Saccharum benghalensis), baonli or kikri (Acacia jacquemontii), common reed (Phragmites karka), khimp or saniya (Crotalaria burhia), broom bush or khip (Leptadenia pyrotechnica), tuman grass (Panicum turgidum), khejri or loong tree (Prosopis cineraria), kans grass (Saccharum spontaneum), athel pine or khagal (Tamarix aphylla), Indian reed mace (Typha elephantine), vann (Salvadora oleoides), jhau (Tamarix indica), chhota madhana or Indian goosegrass (Eleusine indica), camel thorn or jawain (Alhagi maurorum), saltwort (Salsola imbricata), mesquite (Prosopis juliflora), saxaul (Haloxylon stocksii), bulrush or tufan (Typha latifolia), reed mace (Typha angustata), knot grass (Paspalum distichum), water thyme (Hydrilla verticillata), Gul-e-Nilofer (Nymphaea lotus), small knot weed (Polygonum hyaropier), bladder wort (Utricularia lotus), Indian lotus (Nelumbium nucifera), halfa grass (Desmostachya bipinnata) and kikar/babul (Acacia nilotica).

The flora of the Nara Desert (the rangelands): These consist of gum Arabic or khumbat (Acacia Senegal), jand or kandi (Prosopis cineraria), desert teak or lahura (Tecomella undulata), baonli or kikri (Acacia jacquemontii), peelu or toothbrush tree (Salvadora oleoides), karir (Capparis deciduas), African foxtail grass or buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris), sand bur or kutta ghas (Cenchrus biflorus), taman/tuman (Panicum turgidum), and blue panic grass or gnat (Panicum antidotale).

A large number of herbs and shrubs of the desert part of Nara tehsil are being used in herbal medicines. Some of these are utangan (Blepharis sindica), moraaho (Gisekia pharancoides), booh (Aerva javanica), mariro (Amaranthus virdis), kabar (Aristolochia bracteolate), lubh (Amberboa ramose), kanderi bhattar (Echinops echinatus), kharsan (Heliotropium crispum), ghorawal (Senna italic), and kinro (Gynandropsis gynandra).

The riverine forests of Khairpur support the growth of species like lai (Tamarix dioica), kanh or sarkanda (Saccharum munja) and bahan or Euphrates poplar (Populus euphratica), babul/kikar (Acacia nilotica), kandi/jand (Prosopis cineraria), khabbar/peelu (Salvadora oleoides), and lai or athel pine (Tamarix articulate).

Fauna

The Nara Canal and the belt of land along the canal is a Game Reserve that was established in 1972. The ecosystem of the Game Reserve is a mixture of desert and wetlands. Its total area is 108,960 HA along Nara Canal including the area around Sorah (Khairpur Mirs) as well as Jamrao Headworks (Sanghar). This area supports at least 25 species of large mammals, 8 species of small mammals, 118 species of birds and 24 species[1] of reptiles.

Some of the important mammals of the complex include the Asiatic jackal, jungle cat, fishing cat, desert cat, red fox, smooth-coated otter, small Indian mongoose, grey mongoose, hog deer, Indian wild boar, palm squirrel, Balochistan gerbil, hedgehog, porcupine, desert hare, Indian desert jird, and Indian gerbil.

Reptilian fauna includes mugger crocodile, saw-back turtle, brown river turtle, spotted pond turtle, soft shell turtle, Indian flap shell turtle, Indian cobra, saw-scaled viper, Indian sand boa, Sindh awl headed snake, cliff racer, checkered keel back, tree lizard, iguanas, geckos, sand fish, and bronze grass skink.

Avifauna includes a variety of grebes, cormorants, herons, egrets, bitterns, ducks, kites, shikra, white-eyed buzzard, marsh harrier, osprey, black and grey partridges, variety of moor hens, common coot, sand plover, other varieties of plovers, lapwings, curlew, whimbrel, godwit, sand pipers, little stint, dunlin, ruff, black-winged stilt, gulls, pigeons, doves, pheasants, king fishers, and bee-eaters.

Protected Areas and Wildlife

The wildlife protected areas of the district are:

  • Game Reserve in parts of the Nara Canal and the belt of land along the canal. This provides protection to endangered mammals like the desert cat, jungle cat, small Indian civet, smooth-coated otter, and marsh crocodiles
  • Takkar Wildlife Sanctuary, Nara Desert

The endangered fauna of the district includes marsh crocodiles, jungle cats, desert fox, smooth-coated otter, fishing cat, small Indian civet, hog deer, Asiatic jackal, birds of prey, and game birds.

Figure 1.4 Black Bucks in Mehrano Wildlife Sanctuary

[1] Ecological Assessment of Fauna at Nara Wetland Complex, District Khairpur, Sindh Baseline Survey 2010 – 2011 by Indus for All Programme, WWF–Pakistan