Showing posts with label desert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label desert. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Pakistan's unexplored Treasure - Tharparkar

The Thar district has derived its roots from Thar and Pakar. The name Thar has generated its name from Thul, which is the term denoted for sandy regions and Parkar means “to cross over”. Previously, it was known to be Thar and Pakar but now these two words combined one as “Tharparkar”.
It is a district that is located in the south east of Sindh province. More than 200 villages, 90% peoples are living in it. “Mithi” are commonly known as the headquarters of Thar. The large number of region is covered with sand. The common language that is spoken in Tharparkar is called Dhatki which is also referred as “Thari” language. Thari is generally a Rajasthani language. But though, Urdu and Sindhi are also spoken by some people there. There are two classes of mankind; Hindus and Muslims. The population of Muslims is 59% while the Hindu constitutes a population of 41%, according to the census held in 1998.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Longest Highway in the Desert

The Longest Highway in the Desert

The Longest Highway in the Desert

The Tarim Desert Highway across the Taklamakan desert, in China, links the cities of Luntai and Minfeng on the northern and southern edges of the Tarim basin. The total length of the highway is 552 km, of which approximately 446 km is built across uninhabited areas covered by shifting sand dunes, 20 metes tall, that frequently bury the highway.

To prevent the highway from getting buried by the encroaching sand dunes, rows of vegetation were planted on both sides of the road to anchor the sand with their roots. A massive irrigation system was constructed that pump water from underground reservoirs to sustain the artificial ecosystem. Hundreds of workers were employed, housed every four kilometers along the road who tend to the short, small-leaved rose willows, sacsaoul and buckthorn and make sure they do not die. The water comes from wells, bored 100 meters deep into an aquifer which sits under the desert, which in turn is fed by the rivers that flow down from the surrounding mountains. Despite the high saline content in the water, the green belt continues to thrive.


The Longest Highway in the Desert

A lone pumping station by the side of the Tarim Desert Highway. Photo by George Steinmetz

For five years the government experimented with various plants that could survive desert conditions. In 1999, a pilot project of sand protection afforestation belt along a 6.3-kilometer section of the highway was completed. In 2001, the project was expanded until a 30.8-km stretch along the highway was afforested. The project was finally approved by the state in 2003. Today, nearly four-fifth of the highway is flanked by 72 to 78 meter-wide tree belt, covering a total area of more than 3,000 hectares.

The Tarim Desert Highway has great economic significance, which is why such expensive and elaborate measures had to be adopted just to keep the highway usable. The highway was built in 1995 to service an essential north-south oil pipeline, that lies underneath the Taklamakan desert. Beneath the shifting sands contains the largest oil-gas field in China. The highway not only allows direct access to resources that lie underneath the Tarim Basin, but also allows transport of goods and resources from the Lunnan Oilfield to the south of the country rather than take a detour around the desert that would encompass hundreds of kilometers. Because the region is entirely uninhabited, a gas station and a few restaurants were built at the halfway point along the desert highway to service travellers.


The Longest Highway in the Desert


The Longest Highway in the Desert


The Longest Highway in the Desert


The Longest Highway in the Desert


The Longest Highway in the Desert


The Longest Highway in the Desert

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