Bolan: A Tremendous Valley
Bolan: A Tremendous Valley
The rugged mountains of Bolan pass serve to link South Asia with Afghanistan and the Central Asian States. Commonly known as Bolan and officially Kachhi is located in the center of Balochistan. East of Sarawan and Jhalawan the terrain drops almost to zero height, there lies the piedmont plain of Kachhi, and the total northern part is attached to Sibi, one of the hottest regions of Pakistan. Kacchi is about 8,036 km², sloping from an elevation of about 150m at Sibi in the north to 50m at Jacobabad in the south. Its population is about 237,030 (2017).
The Deputy Commissioner’s office started functioning on 17 May 1992, Bolan became one of the four districts of Naseerabad Division.
The National Highway connecting Jacobabad with Quetta is passing from Bolan District for a length of 110 KMs. Similarly, railway lines for a length of 110 KMs also passing from hilly areas of tehsil Mach district Kachhi. Besides the link road connecting tehsil headquarters with district headquarter is also constructed out of which Bakhtiarabad, Bhag, Chandar, Dingra, haji Shahar, Dhadar, Mashkaf Dhadar, Sanni, Bibi Nani, Kirta are popular ones.
It is submitted that the old name of the District is Kachhi. This area has a great history because it is home to the archeological site of Mehrgarh. One of the most important Neolithic sites in archaeology lies on what is now the Kachhi Plain of today’s Balochistan, Pakistan. This part of the world was one of the earliest regions with evidence of farming and herding found.
The province of Balochistan has been blessed with many natural resources, in addition to natural gas, there are many minerals other than fuel, metal, or gemstones that have their commercial values. But the Kachhi or Bolan District has many minerals or natural resources as the other parts of Baluchistan have, the natural resources in this very district include Crude oil, Coal, and Calcite.
Bolan Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.793m (5,884ft) above sea level located in Balochistan province in western Pakistan. The pass has been used as a gateway to and from South Asia. Located within the Toba Kakar Range of Balochistan province, the pass sits 120 kilometers far from the Afghanistan border. At a distance of 120 km from the border of Afghanistan, Bolan Pass connects the Jacobabad and Sibi to Quetta city. This pass has a significant historical background being a mountain pass, which connects Central Asia and South Asia.
The Kachhi district got a canal from the Indus River in the 1930s and since then the southern part has become the most productive agricultural part of Balochistan. Cultivation in Bolan District depends on harnessing the July and August floods results from the monsoon on the hilly areas, because there is less than 100mm of rain on the plain. The two rivers here are Bolan and Nari. The people and farmers there construct huge docks or banks across the dry riverbed to pave the way for the diverted flooded waters. As the fields get watered, they break small dams and let the water run forward in steps, these floods also help in growing crops in Bolan. This is one of a few sources of living and earnings for the people living in Bolan District.
All crops of Kharif and Rabi are grown in the district. Rainwater is also a major source of irrigation. The farming of livestock is common in District Bolan. Many tribes are involved in this business and earn a livelihood through this means.
The people of Bolan are no different from the rest of the province, most of the people still rely on the nomadic lifestyle. Camels are their companions of nomads, the long travel across the region is done mostly on camels. Some people depend upon coal mining.
The major tribes of this area are the Rind, Raisani, Bugṭi, Sumalani, Satakzai, Bangulzai, etc.
The railway track is extending from Sibi to Nari Bank. It has a station in mashkaf. After that, it has a stop in Pero Kunri.it has a track from Peshi to Ab-e-Gum and then Mach. Hilly areas and Sar –e- Bolan to Hirock (Hirak) and Dozaan. The last stop of Bolan is in Kolpur.
District Kachhi is more prone to flash floods. The other potential hazards such as drought, coal mines accidents, fire, and road accidents also affect the district. There is little awareness regarding natural hazards or disasters and people are generally living in vulnerable areas. Harsh climate, poor communications, and transport infrastructure are also not very much developed making them very much vulnerable in case of any disaster.
The author is a student of environmental science at Sardar Bahadur Khan Women (SBK) Women University