Sindh-Umerkot

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Introduction

Umerkot district is situated at the edge of the Great Thar Desert, the span of which covers both Pakistan and India. The district is located between 24° 52Ꞌ 54” to 25° 47Ꞌ 59” North latitudes and 69° 10Ꞌ 8” to 70° 19Ꞌ 44 East longitudes. It is bordered in the North by Sanghar and India, in the West by Mirpurkhas and in the East and South by Tharparkar district.

The district is named after Umerkot, its headquarters town. The district was part of Thar and Parkar district till 1993, when Umerkot Taluka was separated and upgraded to a district level.

District at a Glance

Name of District Umerkot District
District Headquarter Umerkot Town
Population[1] 1,073,000 persons
Area[2] 5,608 km2
Population Density 191.3 persons per km2
Population Growth Rate[3] 2.6%
Male Population[4] 52.0%
Female Population[5] 48.0%
Urban Population[6] 22.6%
Tehsils/Talukas 04 Talukas:

1.    Umerkot Taluka

2.    Kunri Taluka

3.    Samaro Taluka

4.    Pithoro Taluka

Literacy Rate[7] 38%
Male Literacy Rate[8] 54%
Female Literacy Rate[9] 20%
Main Towns Umerkot, Samaro, Kunri, Pithoro, Old Chorr, New Chorr, Shadipali, Dhoro Naro, Nabisar, and Mian Fateh Muhammad Jotar
Major Economic Activity[10] Agriculture with its allied Livestock Breeding, Fishing 63.5%
Elementary Occupations 17.7%
Activities not Adequately Defined 6.8%
Others 12%
Main Crops Cotton, wheat, sugarcane, barley, gram, rapeseed & mustard, sunflower, ispaghol, fennel, bajra, guar seed, sesanum, jowar, maize, arhar, maash, moong, masoor, rabi fodder and canola
Major Fruits Banana, dates, chikoo, guava, jaamun, mango, watermelon, musk melon, papaya, phalsa, citrus, ber, and mulberry
Major Vegetables Okra, tinda, brinjal, bitter gourd, pumpkin, melon pumpkin, luffa, cucumber, long melon, purslane, arum, beans, lotus root, ginger, turmeric, spearmint, peas, onion, coriander, potato, tomato, turnip, carrot, cauliflower, spinach, sweet potato, and sugar beet
Forests (Area)[11] 17,468 HA[12]
Provincial Highways[13] 72.9 km
Access Roads[14] 406.4 km
Secondary Roads[15] 339.3 km
No. of Grid Stations[16] 4 grid stations, each with capacity of 66 KV
Industrial Zones Nil
Major Industry[17] 01 Sugar Mill
Household Size[18] 6.4 persons per house
Houses (Piped Water Inside)[19] 12.1 %
Houses with Electricity[20] 39.1 %

Table 1.1 Umerkot District at a Glance

[1] 2017 Census

[2] 1998 Census

[3] 2017 Census

[4] 2017 Census

[5] 2017 Census

[6] 2017 Census

[7] Pakistan Social & Living Measurement 2014 (PSLM); latest available

[8] PSLM

[9] PSLM

[10] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been made public yet.

[11] Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18

[12] Land Utilization Statistics reports that 40,000 HA is under forests.

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

[14] Road List

[15] Road List

[16] Environmental & Social Assessment HESCO by Elan Partners, 2007. Latest available.

[17] Official Website of National Vocational & Technical Training Commission; retrieved July 2020

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

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

[20] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been made public yet.

Brief HistoryGovernmental StructureAdministrative UnitsPicnic Spots/ Recreational Areas and Historical/ Heritage Sites

Brief History

Umerkot (also spelled Umarkot) is considered to be the gateway to the Thar Desert. It remained a part of the Tharparkar district till 1993, when it was separated, and constituted as a district. As such, the history of Umerkot is the same as that of Tharparkar in particular, as well as that of lower Sindh in general, and has been recounted in the relevant chapters. The town of Amarkot or Umarkot/ Umerkot is also known as Rana Jagir, named after the Sodha Rajputs, who called themselves Rana. Even though the region itself was conquered and ruled by other dynasties (including the Kalhora, Talpur and the Mughals), the Rana clan continues to exercise political control in the region. The current Rana, Rana Hamir Singh, coroneted in 2009, is the present-day head of the Pakistan Hindu Party. His father, Rana Chander Singh, the founder of the party, was elected as member to the Sindh Assembly 7 times and held the portfolios of Science and Technology, Revenue, and Narcotics.

The origins of the name Umerkot are traced back to one of two historical events: according to one, the name Umerkot is a derivative of Amarkot, which was the capital/headquarters of the Sodha Rajputs.[1] It is believed that Rana Amar Singh of the Sodha tribe built the Amarkot Fort (Amar Fort) and thus, the town, around 336 AD. According to the second narrative, Umarkot was named after the Soomra King, Jam Umar who conquered the area after defeating the Sodhas, and later founded the city of Umerkot. The Imperial Gazetteer of India, in fact, shows that “the town of Umarkot is said to have been founded by one Umar, a chief of the Sumra tribe, but by what date is not known” (v.24, p.118). Jam Umar is also the hero of the legendary love story Omar-Marvi. In Umarkot or Amarkot Through the Ages, Gul Muhammad Umrani states that

In volume I of Akber Nama (Translated by H. Beveridge) and Farishta’s history at page 144 and 145 respectively the word Amarkot is conspicuously inscribed to describe the city. The Risalo of Shah Abdul Latif’s various manuscripts available with Sindhology mention the word Amarkot. The city’s name begins with “Alif” and not with “Ain.” All the British explorers, political agents, historians and anthropologists, all old Persian histories of Old Sindh describe the city as Amarkot. Even the history described in “Akbarnama” mentions the city as “Amarkot.”

The Sodha Gurus (Tribe) believe that the town was founded by their ancestors before the beginning of the Christian era. But this is not corroborated by any rational evidence. The statement of Colonel James Todd that “Amarkot” was founded by Amar Singh Parmar in the 11th century is also not founded on any historical evidence. (p. 2)

Umrani also shows that “King Umar Soomro II was the 17th sovereign of the Soomro dynasty who ruled during the period from 1355 to 1390 A.D. The city of Umarkot or Amarkot was definitely founded before this period of the Soomro dynasty” (p. 2). Umrani cites Shams-ul-Ulema Mirza Qalich Beg’s book Qadeem Sindh, Unaja Mashoor Shahr Ain Manhoon which uses both the words (Umarkot and Amarkot). Umerkot is now the official name of the town as well as the district.

Umerkot was, at one point, the capital[2] of the Greater Sindh Province (including some parts of the Rajasthan State of India). Its historical importance is due to its position on the main route to Sindh from the East. It was the headquarters of the area during the dynasties of the Rajput, Kalhora and Talpur, and was an important city during the Kolhora period.

In 1542, Rana Prasad Singh, the Soda/Sodha ruler of Umerkot, gave refuge to Emperor Humayun who was fleeing from persecution by the forces of Farid Khan Suri/Sher Shah Suri, the Afghan Prince who ultimately conquered the region. Humayun’s son, Akbar, who grew up to become one of the greatest Mughal Emperors with the title Akbar the Great, was born in Umerkot. The historical fort where he was born is still standing in Umerkot city.

In 1739, the Kalhoras rose to power in the region and by 1750, took control of this area from the Sodha Rajputs. In 1813, the Talpur Mirs defeated the Raja of Jodhpur (India) and made Umerkot a part of their kingdom. The Talpurs ruled Sindh and extended their authority to the entire desert, building forts at Mithi, Diplo, Islamkot, and other places. They also started collecting land revenue and transit dues. In spite of the extensive efforts to control the desert’s population, marauders continued to raid Kutchh, Kathiawar and Gujrat, areas that are now in India. British detachments were posted in Nagarparkar under the control of the British Political Agent at Bhuj, to help control the trade routes.

In 1843, the British annexed Sindh, and the Thar and Parkar region was administered from Hyderabad for a short while. At the request of the leaders of the area, it was handed over to the Political Agent at Bhuj (Kutch district, Gujarat, India). In 1858-59, the southern talukas of Thar and Parkar were again transferred to Hyderabad district. After the 1859 upheaval at Nagarparkar, all of the desert area, which included the areas of Umerkot district, was detached from the Hyderabad Collectorate and constituted a Political Superintendency in 1860. This administrative organization of the region remained till August 1881, when the post of Political Superintendent was changed to that of a Deputy Commissioner. It retained the same status till 1912 when district Nawabshah was created out of the Thar and Parkar, and Hyderabad districts.

The area became a part of Pakistan in 1947. At that time, Umerkot district was a Taluka of Thar and Parkar district and remained so till 1990, when the district of Mirpurkhas was constituted out of Thar and Parkar, and Umerkot Taluka was made a part of the new Mirpurkhas district. In April 1993, Umerkot Taluka was upgraded to a district level.

Umerkot is famous for its legendary love story of Umar and Marvi, and the historical fort Umar Jo Kot or Umar’s Fort. The district also boasts another love story—that of Moomal Rano. Umerkot is famous for its sandy hills, and is considered to be an attractive place for tourists during the rainy season.

Governmental Structure

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

  • Number of seats in the National Assembly[3] 3
  • Number of seats in the Provincial Assembly 3

The district has one Municipal Committee, Umerkot and 7 Town Committees:

  • Kunri
  • Nabisar Road
  • Pithoro
  • Shadi Palli
  • Chhore
  • Samara
  • Dhoronaro

Administrative Units

Umerkot district covers a total area of 5,608 km2 which is divided into 4 Talukas (tehsils) as follows:

Umerkot Taluka 12 Union Councils
Kunri Taluka 07 Union Councils
Sumaro Taluka 05 Union Councils
Pithoro Taluka 03 Union Councils

Table 1.2 Umerkot Administrtive Divisions

Picnic Spots/ Recreational Areas and Historical/ Heritage Sites

Following are the historical/ heritage sites of the district:

  • Fort of Umerkot: The Mughal Emperor Akbar was born in this fort, in a small building about 9’ x 9’, called Akbar’s Quba. The canopy was built by Syed Mehar Shah of Khehjrari in 1858 AD to commemorate the spot where Akbar the Great was born
  • Ancient mound at Shadi Palli, Umerkot
  • Shiv Mandir: This temple hosts a magnificent Shiv Lingam. Every year, onShiv Ratri, a major three day festival is held, which is attended by several pilgrims from surrounding cities
  • Kali Mata Temple (unprotected)
  • Hassan Shah Baghban Graveyard (unprotected), near Haji Jeo Chawro village: This graveyard is located 37 km from Umerkot town, and 5 km from Samaro town, on the East of Kunri link road
  • Pir Pithoro Dargah: An annual festival, locally called Cheti Chand, is held, which is attended by both Muslims and Hindus from all over the country, all of whom pay homage to Pir Pithoro
  • Pir Nimano Shah Dargah
  • Dargah Kharoro Syed

Figure 1.3 Fort of Umerkot

Figure 1.4 Shiv Temple Umerkot

Figure 1.5 Birthplace of Emperor Akbar

Figure 1.6 Dargah Abdur Rahim Girhori, Pithoro

 

[1] An Illustrated Historical Atlas of Sumra Kingdom by M H Panhwar

[2] “Insight of Umerkot: Living through Adversity” by USAID

[3] Umerkot and Mirpurkhas

Topography

Umerkot district is situated on the border of the sand hills forming the Thar Desert. The district has 2 distinct portions: the irrigated area in the West and North, and the desert area in the East and South. The eastern Nara Canal is the demarcation line between the two regions. The fusion of the two is clearly marked towards the South, at Umerkot.

Sandy hills spread towards the East, which consist of barren tracts of sand dunes covered with thorny bushes. The ridges are irregular and roughly parallel, and they often enclose valleys, above which these sandy hills rise to a height of 46 meters. Alluvial plains, with vast stretches of vegetation, are westwards.

Rivers, Streams, and Lakes

There are no rivers or natural streams in Umerkot district. People get water from the canals like Mithrao, Thar, Khipro, and Nara. The ground water, if encountered, is not potable.

Forests

Total forest area in Umerkot district, as per Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18, is 17,468 HA[1]. Most of this land is reserved rangeland and consists of milk weed (Calotropis procera), kair or karir (Capparis deciduas), vann or peelu (Salvadora oleoides), khimp (Crotolaria burhia), camel thorn (Alhagi maurorum) and phog (Calligonum polygonoides). Some irrigated plantations are present along the banks of the canals.

The Nabisar Reserve Forest, Umerkot, is a protected forest.

Soils

Soils in the Umerkot district are mainly loamy and saline. A sub-barren landscape determines the economic pursuits of Umerkot’s populace.

Climate

Umerkot district has extreme climate, in general, but in the irrigated portion, the climate is temperate, neither extremely hot in the summer nor very cold in winter as compared to the eastern desert area. The summer heat is considerably reduced in the irrigated area by the almost constant blowing of the southwestern breeze from the sea. The eastern portion of the desert area has a tropical climate, being more hot and dry, but receives comparatively more rains during the Monsoon season. April, May, and June are the hottest months. The mean maximum and minimum temperatures during this period are 41 °C and 24 °C respectively. December, January, and February are the coldest months. The mean maximum and minimum temperatures during this period are 28 °C and 9 °C respectively. Rainfall varies from year to year.

Most of the rain falls in the Monsoon months, between June and September. Winter rains are very rare. There are wide fluctuations in the amount of rainfall from year to year and the annual average for some areas is as low as 100 mm. Most of the rain falls between July and September, during the southwest Monsoon, and is often concentrated in a period of 2 to 3 days. The average annual rainfall for Tharparkar and Umerkot districts for the period 1971-2000, ranged between 225 to 250 mm (Chhor Metrological Station data).

Seismic Activity

The district belongs to Zone 2A of the Pakistan Seismic Zone Map, which is the minor to moderate damage seismic zone of Pakistan.

[1] Land Utilization Statistics of the same document reports that a total off 40,000 HA has been marked as forests.

Population

The following table shows the tehsil-wise population of Umerkot district, as per the 2017 Census:

District/Taluka Area

km2

Population Male% Female Urban% Growth Rate %
Umerkot district 5,608 1,073,146 52 48 22.6 2.6
Umerkot Tehsil 3,209 564,394
Kunri Tehsil 585 218,493
Samaro Tehsil 959 170,288
Pithoro Tehsil 855 119,971

Table 1.3 Umerkot Population Statistics

Religions[1]

Muslims 52.3%
Christians 0.2%
Hindus 39.3%
Scheduled Castes 8%
Ahmadis 0.9%
Others 0.1%

Table 1.4 Umerkot Religions

Languages[2]

Urdu 3.1%
Punjabi 5.1%
Sindhi 89.7%
Pushto 0.5%
Balochi 0.5%
Seraiki 0.1%
Others[3] 1%

Table 1.5 Umerkot 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.

[3] This include Dhatki or Thari Sindhi Language

Economic ActivityEconomic Infrastructure

Economic Activity

Agriculture and livestock breeding is the mainstay of the Umerkot economy. The main economic activities of the district are[1]:

  • Agriculture with its allied Livestock Breeding, Fishing (63.5%)
  • Elementary Occupations (17.7%)
  • Activities not adequately defined (6.8%)
  • Others (12%)

Agriculture

For agricultural purposes, Umerkot district is divided into 2 distinct Agro-Ecological Zones: the irrigated portion in the West and North, and the barren/desert portion in the East and South. The irrigated portion of the district is irrigated by Thar, Mithrao, and Khipro Canals. Crops of the district include cotton, wheat, sugarcane, barley, gram, rapeseed & mustard, sunflower, ispaghol, fennel, bajra, guar seed, sesanum, jowar, maize, arhar, maash, moong, masoor, rabi fodder, and canola.

Vegetables of the district include okra, tinda, brinjal, bitter gourd, pumpkin, melon pumpkin, luffa, cucumber, long melon, purslane, arum, beans, lotus root, ginger, turmeric, spearmint, peas, onion, coriander, potatoes, tomatoes, turnip, carrot, cauliflower, spinach, sweet potatoes, and sugar beet.

Banana, dates, chikoo, guava, jaamun, mango, watermelon, musk melon, papaya, phalsa, citrus, ber, and mulberry are the fruits produced in the district.

Land Use

The following table shows the land use statistics of Umerkot district (Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18):

Total Area 501,000 HA Reported Area 501,000 HA
Total Cultivated Area 355,000 HA Net Sown 90,000 HA
Current Fallows 245,000 HA Total Uncultivated Area 166,000 HA
Culturable Waste 35,000 HA Forest Area 40,000 HA

Table 1.6 Umerkot Land Use Statistics

Livestock Breeding

The main sources of income across the district are agriculture, sale of livestock, and livestock products. The main livestock owned by the populace are goats, sheep, and donkeys, while some also own cows and camels. Livestock is responsible for supplying 16% of the total household energy in the form of dung cakes.

The following table shows the livestock statistics of Umerkot district as per Livestock Census 2006 (Latest available and as quoted in Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18:

Cattle 197,000 Heads Buffaloes 98,000 Heads Sheep 149,000 Heads
Goats 536,000 Heads Camels 6,000 Heads Asses 29,000 Heads
Horses 1,000 Heads Mules – Heads

Table 1.7 Umerkot Livestock Statistics

Kankrej cattle, thari cow, kankrej cow, cross breed cattle, kundi buffaloes, kachhi sheep, awasi sheep, and thoroughbred horses are native breeds of livestock in Umerkot district.

Poultry

The poultry industry is the second largest industry of Pakistan, contributing significantly to the national economy while also providing livelihood to a large segment of the populace. Data on number of poultry farms[2] in the district, however, is not available.

Fishing

There is some fishing activity carried out in the irrigation canals of Umerkot district. Most of the fish is consumed locally.

Irrigation

The Thar Canal, Mithrao Canal, and Nara Canal are the main sources of irrigation water in the district. The Nara and Mithrao canals irrigate its western and northern agricultural areas. The district gets the tail-end of the Thar Canal Disty.

In 2005, a deep tube well in village Soomon Taluka in district Umerkot was dug which contained potable water; this water is being used for irrigation purposes as well. The following table shows the mode of irrigation and area irrigated by the mode as per Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18:

Total Irrigated Area 49,598 HA Un-Irrigated Area 40,300 HA
Canal Irrigated 36,309 HA Wells Irrigated – HA
Tube Well Irrigated Area 13,289 HA

Table 1.9 Umerkot Irrigation Statistics

Mining

Oil and gas mining exploration activity has recently been started in Umerkot district by Pakistan Petroleum Ltd. Carbonate soda is being mined in the district.

Industry and Manufacturing

There are no industrial units in the district. One of the major industries of the district is the coal enterprise, which is mostly a family business in which wood pieces are burnt to produce coal to be sold for income. At present, there are 20 such enterprises in the district. Another small cottage industry includes the handwoven carpet industry.

There is a potential for agro-based industry in the district, especially dairy, hides, and wool.

According to the official website of National Vocational & Technical Training Commission of Pakistan 1 Sugar mill was established in the District[3].

Handicrafts

Hand-block printing on textiles, world-famous Sindhi Ajraks, Thari textiles, hand-knotted woolen carpets, shawls, khathas, and launkars (prepared from sheep’s wool) are the indigenous crafts of the region. Jalang bojahas, bags, and Jhajham are made from goat hair and are very common in the region.

Pottery, with a unique and distinct local pattern, is an ancient craft of this area. Most of the pottery items are meant for household use, like fire-clay glasses, mugs, bowls, pitchers, urns, nadis, tabbaques (big plates or platters), matti (used for churning), kunna (used for making yoghurt), tuss (for keeping grounded flour), dakhi (used as jug), koondo (used for grinding spices). Rural women artisans make patchwork rallies from old cloth and discarded clothing, as well as household garments. Patchwork, appliqué, and embroidery are the methods used in making rallies.

 

Economic Infrastructure

The district is connected to other parts of Sindh through a Provincial Highway that passes through Mirpurkhas. A railway line connects the district to other parts of Sindh and Pakistan and to India via Khokrapar. All Taluka headquarters of the district are linked to district headquarters through black topped roads.

Roads and Transport

Total road network of the district as per Road List 2009, issued by GoS (latest version) are shown in the following table:

Provincial Highways 72.2 km
Access Roads 406.4 km
Secondary Road 339.3 km

Table 1.8 Umerkot Road Statistics

According to Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18, there are 1,175 km of black topped roads.

Important roads of the district include:

  • Provincial Highway Mirpurkhas‒Umerkot Chachro Road
  • Arab Palli Road
  • Pithoro-Ghulam Nabishah‒Lal Mangrio Road
  • Dhoro Naro‒Baracha Rajar Road
  • Dhoro Naro‒Sadar Road

Rail and Airways

There is a railway station in the Pithoro Taluka of Umerkot district. The district is connected to India through Khokrapar border station via rail. This railway station is called Zero Point Railway Station, as it is the eastern terminus of the Hyderabad-Khokrapar branch line.

There is no airport in the district, and the nearest airport is at Chhore, which is 19 km from the city of Umerkot.

Figure 1.7 A Train Approaching Khokrapar Station

Radio and Television

At present, there is one radio station in the district called Indus FM 95.4. There is no TV station in the district, but PTV transmissions can be viewed through boosters, and cable TV can be viewed as well.

Telecommunications

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd. (PTCL) provides telecommunications services in all parts of the district. Most of the private cellular companies also provide mobile services in all parts of the district.

Post Offices/ Courier Services

Pakistan Post Head Office at Mirpurkas town serves as the head office of Pakistan Post in Umerkot district also. There are branch offices of Pakistan Post in all Taluka headquarters, which provide all services geberally provided by Pakistan Post.

Banking/ Financial Services

The following banks have their branches in the district:

  • National Bank of Pakistan
  • National Investment Bank Ltd.
  • Sindh Bank Ltd.
  • Soneri Bank Ltd.
  • Habib Bank
  • Muslim Commercial Bank
  • Zarai Tarqiati Bank
  • United Bank Ltd.

In all there are 32 branches of conventional banks and 03 branches of Islamc banks in the District[1].

Electricity and Gas

HESCO (Hyderabad Electric Supply Corporation) is responsible for providing electricity to Umerkot district. There are 4 grid stations each of 66 KV capacity in the district.

Irrigation

The Thar Canal, Mithrao Canal, and Nara Canal are the main sources of irrigation water in the district. The Nara and Mithrao canals irrigate its western and northern agricultural areas. The district gets the tail-end of the Thar Canal Disty.

In 2005, a deep tube well in village Soomon Taluka in district Umerkot was dug which contained potable water; this water is being used for irrigation purposes as well. The following table shows the mode of irrigation and area irrigated by the mode as per Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18:

Total Irrigated Area 49,598 HA Un-Irrigated Area 40,300 HA
Canal Irrigated 36,309 HA Wells Irrigated – HA
Tube Well Irrigated Area 13,289 HA

Table 1.9 Umerkot Irrigation Statistics

Education

Literacy rate in Umerkot is only 38% with 59% urban and 32% of the rural population being literate. Government education institutions in the district are as follows (Sindh Development Statistics 2017-18):

Institution Boys/Girls Institution Boys/Girls
Primary Schools 1,622/265 Middle Schools 56/14
High Schools 54/17 Higher Secondary Schools -/-
Colleges 01/03 Technical Schools 02/-
Commercial Training 01/- Vocational 01/01
Medical Colleges Engineering Colleges
Universities Agriculture Colleges

Table 1.10 Umerkot Educational Institutes

In addition, there are private schools imparting knowledge up to high school level.

Health

The following table shows the number of Government Health Care Institutions in the district (Health Profile Sindh Districts 2017-18):

Institution No./Beds Institution No./Beds
Government Hospitals 04/115 Dispensaries 56/-
Rural Health Centers 06/78 Basic Health Units 32/64
T B Clinics 05/- Mother Child Health Centers 02/-
Private Hospitals 04/60 Private TB Clinics 01/10
Private Dispensaries -/- Private MCHC -/-

Table 1.11 Umerkot Health Care Institutes

In addition there is one Maternity home and one Unani Shifa Khana[2] in the District.

Policing

Hyderabad regional office is responsible for policing Umerkot district. The Deputy Additional Inspector General (DIG) Police, Mirpurkhas is in charge of Mirpurkhas and Umerkot districts. The District Police Officer (DPO) Umerkot is overall in charge of the district, and reports directly to the DIG Police Mirpurkhas, who, in turn, is directly responsible to Additional Inspector General (AIG) Police, Hyderabad Zone.

There are a total of 10 police stations[3] in Umerkot district, and 06 Police outposts.

Figure 1.8 Umerkot Museum

Figure 1.9 Entrance Gate to Umerkot

Figure 1.10 Goth Sumaro

 

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

[2] Herbal Medicine are used for treatment.

[3] Official Website Sindh Police

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

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

[3] http://www.skillingpakistan.org/employer/province/9/district/54 Retrieved July 2020

Environment and Biodiversity

The distribution of vegetation in the district clearly distinguishes between the irrigated and desert areas. The irrigated area has both forest area as well as crop cultivation. The district is mostly rural, with 90% of its population concentrated in rural areas. The socio-economic conditions of the area are very poor due to acute shortage of agricultural water. There are problems ranging from water scarcity to lack of health facilities, nutrition, education facilities, and other basic amenities. There is significant risk to natural assets.

Flora and Fauna

The soil is generally infertile, and because of severe wind erosion and sand, vegetation consists mostly of stunted scrub and bush. The main natural ground cover is provided by grasses. A variety of livestock survive on this. Due to the continuous decrease in annual rainfall and overgrazing of pasture lands, agriculture, and livestock opportunities have steadily diminished.

Flora
In the arid zone of the district, dominant vegetation is composed of deciduous, xerophytic trees and shrubs like aak (Calotropics procera), phog (Calligonum polyonoeides), thuar (Euphorbia caducifolia), kandi (Prosopis specigera), liar (Cordia rothii), and lai (Tamarix gallica). There are common herbaceous species (mostly used for fodder) such as joyweed (Alternanthera nodiflora), bracteated birthwort or kitamari (Aristolochia bracteata), aristida (Aristida funiculata), and sow thistle (Sonchus oleraceus). In the alluvial region, babul (Acacia arabica), cactus (Euphorbia nercifolia), bunch grass (Panicum turgidum), and patlani or lani (Zygophyllum simplex) are found. There are trees like neem (Azadirachta indica), peepal (Ficus religiosa) and ber (Zizyphus jujuba) as well.

Fauna
Chinkara gazelle (rare), desert fox, jackal, hyena, and grey mongoose are the mammals found in the district. Among birds, peacock, black stork, rose-ringed parakeet, sirkeer malkoha or cuckoo, striated scoops owl, partridges, barn owl, Sindh nightjar, Indian nightjar, dove, large hawk cuckoo, and spotted sand grouse are common. Among water birds are white stork and black ibis. In the district, dangerous snakes like khapar, cobra, and others emerge in the rainy season.

Protected Areas and Endangered Wildlife

There are no wildlife sanctuaries, wetlands, or game reserves in the district. Endangered wildlife includes the Chinkara Gazelle which is provided sanctuary in the reserve rangelands.