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LARKANA: Work on lake bridge begins

March 14, 2003

LARKANA, March 13: The district government is constructing a 555-foot-long pre-stressed bridge over the Hamal Lake, District Nazim Khursheed Ahmed Junejo said on Thursday.

While talking to this correspondent, the project director, Ghulam Mustafa Soomro, said that the project was initially designed and okayed by the Sindh Arid Zone Development Authority but was put on hold because of the political uncertainties.

Mr Junejo said that the bridge would open up the foothills of the Kheerthar Range for development and ease the hardships of a large number of people living there.

He said that the bridge was likely to be completed in the next 18 months.

This correspondent, who visited the site of the bridge, which is 75 kilometres southwest of Larkana, talked with several of the villagers, who use boats to cross the lake separating their area and Warah town.

They said that the bridge would help connect at least 150 villages in the surrounding area.

Ahmed Ali Chandio, one of the local resident, said that the majority of people living in villages— including Hamal, Gahi Khan Chandio, Aalo Pir, Ghabidero, Mehboob Lashari and Kandodero— depended on fishing for their livelihood.

The bridge would help save a lot of pregnant women, presently facing discomfort while being carried to nearby basic health units, said Bhaee Mir of the Kandodero village. Pregnant women, he said, often died while crossing the lake on a boat which was not always immediately available.

The bridge, he said, would also help facilitate transportation of grain, including wheat, from Kachho.

The district Nazim, meanwhile, said that the district government was considering to build a road between Shahdadkot and Faridabad (Dadu) along the flood protection embankment of the Hamal Lake, providing means of communication to the people of Kachho.

This, he said, would also serve as an alternate route to the Indus Highway and an easy link between Larkana, Sukkur and Khuzdar in Balochistan after being connected with the motorway passing near Shahdadkot and Qubo Saeed Khan.