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Turbat the land of a romance legend has always been a place of importance for its geographical location. It has been, and still is, the centre of Makran region; geographically, socially, and politically. In 1977, Makran was declared a division and was divided into three districts, namely Panjgur, Turbat (renamed Kech) and Gwadar. In 1994-95, the name of Turbat district was changed to its old name, i.e., Kech. Now the region is called Kech while Turbat town is its headquarters. According to the most recent population projections, Kech has the second largest population within the province.

Kech Background:

Kech, the land of a romance legend, has always been a place of importance for its geographical location. It has been, and still is, the centre of Makran region; geographically, socially, and politically. Known history of the area ways back to the time of prophet Dawood, when people entombed themselves to avoid famine. The area is said to be possessed by Iranian King Kaus followed by Afrasiab of Turan and then by Kai Khusrau, again an Iranian. Then there is a long list of rulers, including Lehrasp, Gushtasp, Bahman, Huma and Darab, to the year 325 BC when an army contingent of Alexander the Great passed through Makran, then known as Gadrosia, on its way from India to Macedonia. Greek historian Arrian has commented on the land, environment and people of the area. He found the climate very hot, the soil sandy and the land inept for human settlement. Afterwards, the area was ruled by Seleukos Nikator, one of Alexander’s generals, who lost it to Chandragupta in 303 BC. Then the tract of history is lost in darkness for centuries and in the fifth century after the death of Christ, we find the area being given to Bahram-i-Gor as a part of dower of Shermah’s daughter. An ascertained account of the area is found in 643 AD, when Islamic army under the command of Abdullah conquered Makran and wrote to the caliph Umar about aridity of the land. Arabs ruled the land one after the other. All the Arab geographers of the era, like Ibn Haukal, Ibn Khurdadba, Al Istakhri and Al Idrisi, have described the country as "for the most part desert". In the 10th century Ibn Haukal notices that the ruler of Makran was an Arab, Isa bin Madan, who had established his residence in the city of Kech which was half the size of Multan. According to a local legend, Muhammad bin Qasim also passed through the area on his way to Sind. Although many invaders, like the Deilamis, the Seljuks, the Ghaznivids, the Ghorids and the Mangols, conquered the land but mostly the local rulers, including Hoths, Rinds, Maliks, Buledais and Gichkis, exercised authority in the area as the conquerors had no intentions to stay here.

Climate Kech:

The climate of Kech, elevated at 100-1400 meters above sea level, is dry arid hot. It is placed in "hot summer and mild winter" temperature region. Summer is not only hot but also long. It continues from March through November (9 months) while winter starts in December and continues till February (3 months). June is the hottest month and January the coldest. Mean monthly temperature in the hottest month remains above 32° C. The highest ever recorded temperature at Turbat is 44.8° C in 1982. In the coldest month, January, the mean monthly temperature remains between 10° C to 21° C. Sometimes it drops below 10° C but it does not reach 0° C. In winter a cold wind, locally called goorich, blows, which takes the temperature feel like below freezing point.

Aridity is severe in the district because average annual rainfall is below 250 mm and in some years annual rainfall was even below 100 mm. The potential evapotranspiration which exceeds precipitation by more than two times results in aridity or desertification. Winter precipitation exceeds summer rainfall but overall precipitation level remains low. According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, total annual precipitation in 1982 was 155 mm. No recent climate data is available for Kech as presently there is no meteorological station in the district.

Annual Mean Rainfall:

The only data available by the Pakistan Meteorological Department is of 1982 published in 1981 census report. In that year total annual rainfall was 155 millimetres at Turbat. This data confirms the "dry arid" climatic category of the area. Winter rainfall provides irrigation water for Rabi crops, i.e., wheat, barley, bakla, and masoor. Sometimes traffic across the streams discontinues due to floods resulting from rainfall.

Annual Mean Temperature:

At Turbat mid summer mean maximum temperature (in June) was 44.8° C in 1982 while mid summer mean minimum temperature was 28.1° C. In the same year the mid winter mean maximum temperature (in January) was 24.7° C and mean minimum temperature in mid winter was 11.6° C.

The annual mean maximum temperature for 1982 was 36.1° C while the annual mean minimum temperature for that year was 20.3° C. This data validates the climatic categorisation of the district as "hot summer and mild winter" because mean monthly temperature in the hottest month of summer was 36.5° C and mean monthly temperature in winter was 23.2° C in 1982.

Kech in comparison to Balochistan:

Based on the available statistics, development trends for Kech are generally clearly explained in the tables with socio-economic indicators and Kech’s comparative ranking in reference to the other districts within Balochistan, underneath.

• Kech is one of the largest districts within the province and it has the second largest population figure after Quetta. It’s population density is just above average, while it’s annual population growth is just below average. At least in 1981 it had the highest m/f ratio in the province.

• Agriculturally, Kech is above average with high production figures, in particular for fruits (dates and citrus), which count for about 45% of the total production within the district. The agricultural value per capita and per hectare score both above average as well. The latter one indicates that economically an appropriate cropping pattern has been chosen.

• The livestock density is comparatively low, while there seems to be sufficient pasture available. In absolute figures not much pasture is available, but non of the districts score sufficiently there. Comparatively Kech scores high in pasture availability.

• Although for every 3 boys only one girl goes to school, comparatively Kech scores good in boys/girls enrolment ratio at primary school level. In absolute enrolment figures Kech scores comparatively high for both boys and girls. The pupils/teacher ratio is comparatively negative for both boys and girls; for girls much more negative than for boys.

• Kech may score well in the number of people per doctor; it scores very bad in the availability of female health staff (doctors and paramedical staff), which indicates that the men are comparatively well off, but the women are not well looked after. The population per bed ratio is far above the provincial average. • Concerning the availability of metalled roads scores Kech low and concerning the availability of shingle roads its scores high.

Administrative Division Kech:

Kech was notified as a district, with its name as Turbat, on July 1, 1977, when Makran district was given the status of a division and was divided into three districts. Previously it was one of the 3 Tehsils of Makran district. In 1995, the name of the district was changed from Turbat to Kech, the old name for the area, when even Awaran was part of it. For administrative purposes, Kech district is divided into 4 sub-divisions, i.e., Turbat, Buleda, Dasht, and Tump. Turbat sub-division is further divided into Turbat tehsil and Hoshab. Buleda sub-division comprises 2 sub-tehsils Bit Buleda and Niwano. Sub-division Dasht comprises Dasht Kuddan and Balnigore sub-tehsils and Tump sub-division has two tehsils, Tump and Mand. Land settlement has been completed for Dasht sub-division only, but officially this area has not been declared as a settled area. The remaining part of the district is still unsettled. Due to lack of appropriate and trained staff land settlement work is suspended.

Being the divisional headquarters, the offices of the Commissioner and other divisional heads of various federal as well as provincial departments are located at Turbat.



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