Bahawalpur has only one railway bridge, the Adamwahan (empress) bridge, over the Sutlej river, and also has rail links with Peshawar, the capital of north-west frontier province and Karachi, the capital of Sindh (which is 899 km from Bahawalpur), making it an important rail centre. The surrounding area is mostly agricultural, which allows agricultural exports to many parts of the world. There is also a large market town for mangoes, dates, wheat, sugarcane, and cotton that bring in continuous demand all year round. In addition, it has soap making and cotton spinning factories, as well as enterprises producing silk and cotton textiles, carpets, and pottery. Bahawalpur has also sugar mill near a drive of 40 minutes. Punjab is Pakistan’s most fertile province, rich in both agriculture and ancient history. It’s also one of the more stable of the country’s regions. The prosperous and hospitable town of Bahawalpur is a gentle introduction to the area. From here you can journey into Cholistan – a sandy wasteland dotted with nomadic communities and wind-swept forts – or the Lal Suhanra National park, an important wildlife reserve. Further north is Harappa which is, after Mohenjo-Daro, the second most important site of the Indus valley civilization. Bahawalpur is the most southerly town in the Punjab. There are daily flights from Islamabad about 555 km (344mi) away. Most of the major destinations in the Punjab can be reached by bus, mini bus, and train.
Industrial potential of Bahawalpur:
Keeping in view the availability of raw-material, skilled labor, industrial units, local / national / international demand, future industrial potential of district Bahawalpur is discussed hereunderit would, however, be kept in mind that though the above mentioned factors facilitate the success of any industrial unit, yet the entire success depends upon the investors / entrepreneurs and the capabilities of the personnel having the managerial control. Therefore, it is advisable that detailed feasibility of industrial project must be carried out before making final decision for investment.
Main crops and fruit of the district are cotton, wheat, sugarcane, rape/mustard seeds, dates, mangoes and citrus. The average annual production of cotton over the period 1998-2001 was 1003 thousand bales and of remaining crops/fruit i.e. Wheat, sugarcane, rape/mustard seed, dates, mangoes and citrus was 666, 435, 20, 2.26, 96 and 274 thousand m. Tons respectively .at present, five textile spinning mills, one sugar mills, 22 flour mills, a number of cotton ginning/pressing factories and oil expelling units are already operating in the district. In view of the above, there seems little scope for more flour mills and another sugar mill due to limited production of wheat and sugarcane. However, there exists wide scope for cotton based industries i.e. Textile spinning, weaving, processing/printing. More solvent oil extraction plants can be established as besides cotton seed, cotton oil cake and rape/mustard seeds can also be used as raw material. besides, fruit juice, pickles, squashes and dates processing / packing units possess good prospects. In addition, dates based vinegar unit can also be established.
As per livestock census 1996, the population of cattle, buffaloes, sheep and goats was 288, 464, 158 and 714 thousand heads respectively. The annual availability of hides and skins is estimated at 95500 pieces. As regards poultry, there are 316 broiler and 17 layer poultry farms having rearing capacity of 1826 and 150 thousand birds (chapter – 3, section 3.3).there is already three feed mills operating in the district, which leaves little scope for additional unit. However, a leather products unit and a hatchery/breeding poultry farm can be established. Besides, estimated production of wool i.e. about 158 m. Tons annually reflect good potential for wool processing and weaving unit.
District Bahawalpur possesses vast forest potential. An area of about 15 thousand acres is under forest (chapter – 3, section 3.2). Therefore, there exist good prospects for wood seasoning / processing units and modern furniture units.
In view of developing textile industry, oil expelling and solvent extraction plants in the district, there seems bright scope for paper cones unit and sizing units.
Demand based industry:
There seems good prospects for consumer products manufacturing industries i.e. Shoemaking, biscuits and confectionery, hosiery and knitting unit, readymade garments, aluminum utensils, melamine tableware, etc
Total population of the district
According to 1998 population and housing census, total population of Bahawalpur district is 2433 thousands persons out of which 1279 thousands are males and 1154 thousands are females. Density of population in the district is 98 persons per square kilometre. Percentage break-up of the rural and urban population is 72.7 and 27.3 respectively.
Tehsil-wise distribution of urban and rural population is given in table-1
Tehsil-wise distribution of urban & rural population:
|Name of Tehsil||Population (thousand persons)|
The total available labour force (i.e. Population 15 years and above, working and looking for work) as per district census report of Bahawalpur 1998 in the district is 547 thousand persons. As regards availability of skilled labour, there are 13 technical / commercial / vocational institutions (10 for men and 3 for women) imparting training in various trades e.g. Mechanical, electrical, auto-engineering, welding, wood working and commerce. Vocational institutions for women impart training in hand/machine embroidery, stitching and knitting. In all about 2000 technicians/artisans/workers are trained every year.
Making of delicate and decorated earthenware is one of the traditional crafts of the district. This earthenware displays the skill of the artisans who are concentrated in the tehsil of Ahmedpur east. Decorated lampshades and flower-vases are also made from camel skin in some parts of the district. Hand embroidery work on shirts is yet another specialty of the area. Other crafts include basket making, cotton and woolen durries, patch work, etc. The families engaged in the profession are spread all over the district.
The district has metalled road-length of 1,419 kilometres. The district is linked with lodhran, bahawalnagar vehari and rahimyar khan districts through metalled road.
The main peshawar-karachi railway line passes through Bahawalpur district. The district is linked with rahim yar khan, hasilpur and lodhran through railway network.
General quality and availability of sub-soil water:
The sub soil water in the district is suitable for industrial purposes.
Effluent disposal facilities:
Since most of the industrial activity consists of cotton ginning and oil mills, no serious effluent disposal problems exist at present. However, if some effluent generating industries are established in the district then effluent can be discharged into sem-nullah / river with permission from irrigation and power department, government of the Punjab.
There are 11 grid stations in the district (ranging in capacity from 66 kv to 220 kv).
Al gas availability:
Natural gas is available in ahmedpur east, uch-sharif, khanqah-sharif and Bahawalpur city.
There are 32 telephone exchanges operating in the district (ranging in capacity from 50 lines to 6574 lines). Cellular phone services are available in the district.
Industrial financing facilities:
Following financial institutions in the country are providing various types of fixed investment industrial financing in the foreign and local currency to the industrial sector for establishment of new industrial units as well as for expansion, balancing, modernization and replacement of existing industrial units within the frame-work of industrial/financial policies of the government of Pakistan.
AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT BANK OF PAKISTAN (ADBP)
ALLIED BANK OF PAKISTAN LIMITED (ABP)
HABIB BANK LIMITED (HBL)
INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT BANK OF PAKISTAN (IDBP)
MUSLIM COMMERCIAL BANK (MCB)
NATIONAL BANK OF PAKISTAN (NBP)
PAKISTAN INDUSTRIAL CREDIT & INVESTMENT CORPORATION (PICIC)
PAK-LIBYA HOLDING COMPANY (PLHC)
PAK-KUWAIT INVESTMENT COMPANY (PKIC)
SAUDI-PAK INDUSTRIAL & AGRICULTURAL INVESTMENT COMPANY (SAPICO)
ASKARI COMMERCIAL BANK
UNITED BANK LIMITED (UBL)
PICIC COMMERCIAL BANK
SME BANK LTD
SONERI BANK LTD