MITHI: In an unprecedented new record, several lacs of tourists from across the country have so far visited Thar since the beginning of rain and enjoyed mesmerising natural beauty of its lush green pastures, fields and mountains, according to Tharparkar Deputy Commissioner Dr Shahzad Tahir Thaheem.

The officer told journalists at local press club here the other day that number of visitors was increasing by each day. Most people were coming along with their families after the media showed natural beauty and positive side of hitherto drought-stricken desert region, he said.

He said that people of the rain-dependent arid zone were overjoyed after most parts of the region were blessed with bounteous rain in the wake of devastating drought in 2018 and previous years.

He said that hilly area of Parkar including its headquarters Nagarparkar had so far received a little over 300 mm of rainfall, which had turned Karoonjhar hills green and pastures full of shrubs and wild grass.

He said that so far millions of tourists had visited Thar and thousands more were still visiting historical places including Jain temples, ancient mosque at Bhodesar and Hindu temples in the lap of hills, he said.

“Kaloi tauka received 266 mm of rainfall followed by Mithi and Islamkot which were blessed with 235 and 220 mm rainfall, respectively,” he said and added that Diplo taluka had 204mm rainfall.

Dr Thaheem informed that Chhachhro and Dahli talukas received only 156 and 105mm rainfall, which according to him was not so sufficient for cultivation of crops. The rain was recorded by officials in the towns while it might have rained more in rural areas where it could not measured, he said.

He said that despite less rains in the two talukas there was enough fodder for animals and hoped that the remaining areas might also have rain from post-monsoon rain systems.

The officer congratulated himself by saying that timely action by the district administration prevented many people from bringing under cultivation grazing lands and tops of sandy dunes.

He also praised youths of Thar and tourists who shared pictures of green Thar on social media, which according to him, were going viral worldwide and attracting more and more people to the rain-soaked desert’s rare beauty.

He said that the district administration was ready to provide required facilities to reporters of national and international media persons and facilitate their visit to Thar to help them show the rare and unmatched beauty of the desert region to the world.

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2019