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Namal Valley Mianwali
district, a neglected area of the Punjab, is rich in natural
resources hidden in the Salt Range mountains which start from the south-east
side of the district and enter the Khyber Pakhtonkhaw ( NWFP) on the north-west.
The natural resources include uranium, iron ore, salt, salika sand, gypsum and limestone. And this hidden treasure is waiting to be explored on a high scale with modern skill to earn a handsome foreign exchange. Besides, several beautiful places in the district are a great attraction for the tourists, which can be developed with the assistance of the tourism department.
To view the historical lake, you had a drive of 32km from Mianwali on Rawalpindi-Mianwali Road. After passing through the Salt Range mountains, you can see a beautiful lake known as Namal Lake spread over 5.5 sq km, in Namal Valley. This is the central place of Namal Valley and our old town named Namal is on its eastern side which still has a century-old rest house standing on the banks of Namal Lake. Once a picnic spot for the British officers, it is now altogether neglected by the department concerned.
NAMAL dam is situated some 32 KM from Mianwali city.This dam is very old.It was constructed by British Government.When Mianwali became District then the district government buildings were constructed using water stored in Namal lake from this Namal Dam.
In 1913, British engineers, to meet the scarcity of irrigation and drinking water, built a dam on this lake and from here they irrigated lands up to Mianwali city. But with the passage of time and construction of Thal Canal and installation of tubewells, its utility of water squeezed up to some limit. The gates of the dam are repaired by the irrigation department regularly but without enthusiasm. The hill torrents and rains fill the Namal Lake round the year. Due to a drought-like situation in the country, this lake dried up last year, which is the first incident of its kind during the last 100 years, said one of the senior inhabitants of this area.
An engineer told this correspondent that the name of Namal Dam still exists
on the list of dams in the world. Namal Lake
is an ideal abode for the migratory birds in winter season when thousands of
water fowls, including Russian ducks and Siberian cranes, land in the lake
water. Due to the apathy of the wildlife department, these guest birds are
ruthlessly killed by poachers. To save these birds, the wildlife department must
declare this lake a sanctuary.
Namal Valley consists of big villages like Namal,Rikhi, Kalri, Dhurnaka, Dhiba Karsial,Tahamiwali,Bun Hafiz Jee,Chagda,Dhoke Mustal and Wandhi. It is spread over 650 sq km, according to the revenue department. This is one of the oldest civilizations of the district, having centuries-old vaults on hills and the oldest path used by Mughal convoys known as Luni Road, inviting archaeologists for research. Despite such importance, this area is still neglected on one pretext or the other. There are two well-known shrines of Hafiz Muhammad Azeem alias Hafiz Jee and Peer Khaki Shah which attract thousands of spiritual followers from far and near annually.
The valley has very fertile land, but irrigation by tubewells is very costly, due to 500 to 800 feet depth of underground water, and the cost of electricity is unbearable. Earlier the inhabitants of the area enjoyed flat rate by Wapda, but it has been withdrawn. Now again the people have urged the government to restore the flat rate for this area, which can play a vital role in bringing about a green revolution in this valley.
Together with roads, the inhabitants of the area have demanded provision of educational facilities especially for women who were traditionally discouraged in this area, well-known for forbidding women to cast votes in elections. Now, with the passage of time, people are taking interest in providing education to women. But there are many primary girls schools lying closed, which depicted the true picture of powerful education mafia in this district. Boys and girls middle schools are at Kalri, Dhurnaka, Dhok Ali Khan and Rikhi.
Recently, through the efforts of a serving army officer a girls high school was sanctioned for Dhurnaka. For the purpose, a philanthropist donated 20 kanals of agricultural land and construction work started. There are high schools for boys at Kalri ,Dhiba Karsal, Rikhi and Dhok Ali Khan. It is interesting that majority of these schools have vacant posts of teachers and headmasters.
The people of the area made persistent requests to the high-up for providing better educational facilities, but all of these seem to have fallen on deaf ears. Nearly seven years ago, a philanthropist of the area donated 40 kanal at Chakda for the construction of a college. The land was transferred in the name of the education department, but nothing has been done due to reasons well known to the department. For providing educational facilities, professional politicians of the area never take interest.
Majority of the basic health units are being run by the paramedical staff and
no doctor is available in the dispensaries. It is strange that uptil 1942, a
full-time doctor had been working in the dispensary at Dhurnaka. He was renowned
for carrying out eye operations in this valley, an old inhabitant told this
correspondent. No doubt there are several rural health centers in the valley but
all of them are without medicines and doctors, and this needs serious attention
of the health department.
Last but not least, Namal Valley being one of the oldest civilizations and also the birth place of many military men needs greater attention of the government to turn it into a tourism heaven and improve the quality of life of its inhabitants. There is beautiful sulphur water spring near the Namal dam site. People use this water for treatment of different diseases. This sulphur water fountain is very old but even then the flow rate of water is same .If government take care and give attention to this fountain then this can be a great source of sulphur.By drying the water you can get a good quality sulphur from here.
There are two well-known shrines of Hafiz Muhammad Azeem alias Hafiz Jee(famous as Baba Hafiz Jee) and Peer Khaki Shah which attract thousands of spiritual followers from far and near annually.In the picture you can see the shrine of well known Baba Hafiz Jee Sahib...
Baba Hafiaz Jee was a very a great peer of his age.During his
time he made a place for storage of rain water in the area.I n local language
people call this type of small storage of rain water as BUN.After this BUN now
that area is called BUN Hafiuz Jee.That Bun still exists but not in good
condition.Bun Hafiz Jee
is still a village in namal valley.
In the picture below you can see the Namal college in Namal Valley near Namal lake.