Vehari is a city about 100 km from the historical city of Multan and is the headquarters of Vehari District in the Punjab province of Pakistan. It is situated at the Multan Delhi Road constructed by Indian Muslim Emperor Sher Shah Suri.
|Weather:||35°C, Wind SW at 26 km/h, 48% Humidity|
|Proportion of housing units comprising of one room:||30.93%|
|Proportion of children population less than 10 years :||30%|
|% increase in population (1981 – 2006) :||87.7%|
|Average annual rainfall :||Less than 125mm|
|Number of Union Councils :||89|
|Government:||Capt. (Retd.) Altaf Hussain|
|From Faisalabad:||218 km (135 mi)|
|From Lahore:||300 km (190 mi)|
|From Karachi:||956 km (594 mi)|
|From the Regional Metropolis of Multan:||96 km (60 mi)|
|Altitude:||135 m (443 ft)|
|Constructed By:||Indian Muslim Emperor Sher Shah Suri|
Vehari District is the result of construction of the Pakpattan canal from Sulemanki Head Works on the Sutlej and the institution of Nili Bar colony project in 1925, so called because of the hints of blue in the water of the Sutlej. The ancient history of the district is obscure. The populated areas in ancient times was restricted to the banks of the river Sutlej where seasonal inundation permitted some cultivation. The rest of the area was a vast sandy scrap-land at best affording pastures itinerant herdsmen. The riparian tract formed the state of Fatehpur during the time of Akbar the Great. This was ruled by Fateh Khan of Joya family who founded and gave his name to the town of Fatehpur. Fatehpur is still in existence about 15 kilometres to the south of Mailsi and is the oldest town of Mailsi subdivision. It has some remains of archaeological value.
Location Area and Administrative
District Vehari is one of the southern districts of Punjab, located at the right bank of River Satluj-one of eastern tributaries of River Indus. Word ‘Vehari’ literally means a low lying settlement by a flood water channel. Vehari makes part of Nili Bar. Lying at is bounded on the north by Districts of Khanewal and Sahiwal, on the west by Lodhran and Multan, on the south by Bahawalplur and Bahawalnager separated by River Satluj, and on the east by Pak Pattan. District Vehari is a smaller district interms of area. It is spread over an area of 4364 sq.km and makes 2.12% area of Punjab and 0.5% area of Pakistan. Administratively District Vehari is divided into three tehsils, 89 union councils and 774 Mauzas. Vehair is part of Multan Division along with the districts of Sahiwal, Pakpattan, Multan, Lodhran and Khanewal. Prior to getting the status of a district in June 1976, Vehari was part of Multan district. The three tehsils of Vehari are somewhat of equal size each covering 1/3rd area of the district. All the three tehsil, on their south neighbor river Satluj. The district is 93 km in length and 47 km in breadth. It slopes gently from north east to south west .
There is not much diversity in the physical features of the district and the area appears to be monotonous. Geologically the lands constituting Vehari are made of sedimentary rocks of quaternary types. The district is rich in sweet underground water that is fit for both agriculture and human consumption. The water table at most of the locations is 30-40 meters deep. In the areas lying closer to river Satluj, the water table is found to be much higher.
The natural vegetation found throughout the district is thorny. The soils of the district are quite fertile. This fertility is reflected in the vast agricultural lands that dominate the scenes in the district. The soils in the district have been deposited by the rivers- River Beas which used to flow in the northen part of the area which now forms the district and River Satluj that flows in the south. The soils lying in the belt that borders River Satluj are those which are found in the active or young flood plains. The soils in the rest of the district are those that are found in the older flood plains.
Pakpattan with their networks irrigate the district. Total number of canals including their minors in the district are 119 with total length of 1380 km approximately.
Climatically Vehari is hot, arid and very dry as it receives less than 125 mm of annual rainfall. May, June and July are the hottest months and the mean maximum and minimum temperatures
for these months are 42 and 28 C respectively
January and February are considered to be the coldest months and mean maximum and minimum temperature during these months are recorded to be 22 and 8 C respectively (..). Dry, hot and dusty winds are common during summers.
The district receives its share of rains mostly in the monsoon from July to September and very little rainfall during winters.
Vehari is a populous district. It is estimated that by the year 2006, the population of the district had reached 2.5 million. Like the uniformity in the area, the population within the district also appears to be somewhat evenly distributed among the three tehsils of this district.
During last one decade the population growth rate is estimated to have reduced from 2.7% recorded for the period 1981-98 to 2.23% during the period 1998-2006. However despite this reduction in the population growth, the rate is still higher than the national and provincial level population growth rates (Pakistan: 2.14% and Punjab: 2.0% for the period 1998-2006).
Since 1981, there has been an increase of 87.7% in the population of Vehari and from 1951 to 2006, there was 347% increase in the population. In terms of population balance or malefemale sex ratio, an improvement has been made. From a male-female sex ratio of 112 recorded in Census 1981, the ratio was noted to has improved to 108 in 1998.
Vehari is rural in nature as the vast
majority of its population lives in rural
areas. In 1998, the population living in
the urban settlements of the district
was recorded to be 16% of the total
population of the district. Burewala is
the most urbanized (urban population
21%) and Mailsi is the least urbanized
(12% urban population).
6 Main Urban
The census 1998 noted that there were
6 main urban settlements or towns in
the district. Out of them, the towns of
Burewala and Vehari each had a
population of more than 0.1 million.
The town of Mailsi was a medium sized
town having a population of more than
50,000. Jalla Jeem, Tibba Sultanpur and
Karampur were infact small urban
settlements/towns each with a
population of around 10,000.
Since the expansion of population in
district Vehari dates some 80 years back
with the canal colonization, the cities
and towns of district Vehari are not very
old. The town of Vehari is quite well
planned with straight and broader
streets following a grid iron pattern.
Commanding a smaller areas but
affording a larger population, the
population density in the district is
quite high. It is estimated that the
current population density in the
district is around 600 persons per
Southern Districts of Punjab
Vehari is one of those southern districts
of Punjab which despite being part of
the so called Seraiki belt, has a majority
of Punjabi speaking population thanks
to canal colonization and arrival of
Punjabi settlers with the institution of
Nili Bar colony project in 1925 .
Before the introduction of canal
irrigation, the populated areas were
found only at or near the banks of river
Satluj where seasonal inundation
permitted some cultivation . The
rest of the area was a vast sandy scrap
land at best affording pastures itinerant
According to the Census 1998, 30%
population of the district was
comprised of children aged less than 10
years while almost half of the
population (48.32%) was comprise of
children/youth aged less than 18 years.
District Vehari has a very small non
Muslim population. According to the
Census 1998, 1.2% of the district’s
population was non Muslime.
Housing and Living Conditions
Like most of the districts of Pakistan and
Punjab, the housing or living conditions
in Vehari district have improved over
last one decade.
In 1998, 77.3% urban and 42.8% rural
houses had pacca walls. These
proportion for urban and rural housing
in 2006-07 were recorded to be 89%
and 68% respectively.
The RCC/RCB roofs are still not a
preference for or affordable to a
majority of the households. In 1998,
30% urban and 16% rural houses had a
pacca (RCC/RCB) roof. These
proportions changed to 36% and 31%
respectively in 2006-07.
A considerable proportion of urban
households (1/3rd) do not own the
housing units they are living in.
rd 1/3 houses in the urban areas are
provided with a piped water supply
whereas the proportion of rural
hoseholds enjoying this facility is quite
small-6%. The motor pumps have
become quite common in both the
urban as well as rural areas of the
district. More than half of the urban
and 40% rural households have installed
these pumps replacing the traditional
hand pump based water supply.
rd Almost 1/3 housing units both in the
urban and rural areas are single room
dwellings. Almost 6 in every 10 urban
and rural households are living in the
housing units having 2-4 rooms.
th About 1/10 of urban and half of the
rural households still defecate in open
as they do not have a latrine facility
inside their dwellings.
Around 3% urban and 16% rural
households do not have an access toelectricity from the national grid.
Natural gas, considered to be a cleaner
fuel is out of the reach for majority of
the urban and rural households. Only
th 1/10 of urban households are found to
be using gas as a fuel for cooking and
heating. Majority of the rural
households (88%) use crop residues
(especially cotton sticks) and cow dung
rd as the cooking fuel while 1/3 of the
urban households also use these fuels.
Fuel wood is the fuel option for more
th than half of the urban and 1/10 of the
In the education sector the major
trends and issues prevailing in the
Vehari District include:
- More than half (56%) of the adult population aged 15 years or above is unable to read or write. Almost same proportion of the population aged 10 years or above is also illiterate.The literacy figures for the females aged 10+ and 15+ are half of those for males of same age groups.The – 1/4 of rural women (aged 15+ and10+) compared to half of urban women/girls of same age group are literate.
- Less than half of the population has ever attended any school. Half of the urban and 1/3 of the ruralpopulation has actually completed primary or higher levels of education. The government schools are quite valuable especially for the rural population as 85% of the primary school going children attend government primary schools. In urban areas the private and government schools have almost equal role inproviding the primary level education.
- Vehari is one of those luckier districts of Pakistan where number of elementary educational institutions for girls are equal or more than those for boys. The number of primary schools for girls in the district is a little less than that for boys while the number of middle schools for girls is almost double than that for boys. This trend reverses in case of high schools where number of boys high schools is double than that for girls. These trends are also reflected in the school enrolments of boys and girls.
- The disparity gap between boys and girls appears to diminish in case of higher level educational institutions as there are equal number of intermediate and degree colleges both for boys and girls in the Vehari District.
A somewhat balanced distribution of
public health facilities among the tehsils
of Vehari is apparent. However the
misbalance also exists. For instance,
according to the statistics of 2004-05,
each of the three tehsils had 1 hospital,
almost equal number of Basic Health
Units and Sub Health Centres, and none
of them had a TB clinic. Compared to
this situation, tehsil Vehari appears to
be ahead of other two tehsil in having
some of the health facilities like number
of hospital beds (125 compared 60 in
Burewala and Mailsi), Dispensaries (17
compared to 13 in Mailsi and 9 in
Burewala), and Rural Health Centres (6
compared to 2 each in Burewala and
The PSLM 2006-07 reveals some
important health sector trends
prevailing in the Vehari District. These
trends and issues include:
- Of those fall sick, three out of four are taken to or consult a private health facility. Compared to this 22% patients in urban and 15% in rural areas consult a public health facility.
- The private health facilities and practitioners have an important role in taking care of people’s health needs.
- 18% male and 12% female children are yet to be fully immunized.
- 10% urban and 29% rural pregnant women do not receive tetanus toxoid injection.
- Most of the deliveries continue to take place at home both in urban as well as rural areas.
- More than half of both urban and rural women do not receive any pre natal care form a formal health facility.
- Almost 9 out of 10 women do not receive any post natal care/advice from a formal health facility.
The Census 1998 important facts about
the livelihood options available to and
strategies adopted by the residents of
Vehari. According to the Vehari District
Census Report 1998:
th – 1/4 of the total population of the
district was economically active,
- Of the population aged 10 years or above, 35.7% was economically active,
- Almost half or 46.6% male population of the district was noted to be economically active,
- Of the total population, 1.4% population was recorded to be working as domestic workers,
- The unemployment rate among the economically active population was recorded to be on the higher side. 17.5% economically active population was found to be unemployed. The unemployment rate in the urban areas was higher (22%) than in rural areas(16.9%). The unemployment rate was higher among men (17.9%) compared to women( 5.6%). The female unemployment rate was recorded to be higher in rural (6.3%) than in the urban areas (3.5%),
- Agriculture sector was noted to have engaged majority of the economically active population of the district (42%). The elementary profession engage a considerable proportion of urban(43%) and rural (34%) population of Vehari.
- The construction sector absorbed a considerable proportion of the economically active population- 21% rural and 30% urban population.
- 64% economically active population was self employed,
- The government institution and
- 10.3% EAP was not to be comprised of unpaid family helpers.
Vehari being part of a zone where
agriculture activity is extensive, hold an
extremely important place in country’s
agriculture sector. This is evident from
the fact that in 1988, the district
contributed 15.3% to the total cotton
production of Pakistan. The agriculture
and livestock zoning maps (Oxford Atlas
of Pakistan) reveal District Vehari’s
contributions in the agriculture sector Some of the major trends and issues in
the agriculture sector of Vehari include:
- According to Census 1998, more than 80% area of the district was under cultivation. The Punjab Development Statistics 2005 reveals that out of the total area surveyed, 90% has been put under the cultivation. The document also shows that almost all the lands that can be put under the cultivation has been utilized for this purpose since 9% area of the district is not available or fit for cultivation (area under settlements/built environment, water bodies etc).
- The extensive agricultural activity in the district is being fueled by the extensive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and their use is on rise. From 2000 to 2004-05, 35% increase in the used of chemical fertilizers had happened.
- The extensive agriculture activity also need a lot of irrigation water. Earlier this need was being taken care of by canal water which was sufficiently available. However over the time the increase in the cultivated area, and shrinking availability of canal water made way for the installation of tube wells whose number has steadily been increasing. From 1998 to 2004-05, 82.3% increase in the number of tube wells was recorded (From 9282 to 16924). Majority of the tube wells are diesel powered. From 1998 to 2004-05, there was 5.6% increase in the electric tube wells whereas during the same period 129% increase in the diesel powered tube wells was recorded.
- Like rest of the country the farm mechanization or ‘tractorization’ has almost completely replaced the use offarm animals for the preparation of lands. During one decade (1994-2004), 35% increase in the number of tractors was recorded. However the number of days and number of hours, a tractor used to work, have been reduced with the increase in the number of tractors.
- As mentioned earlier that availability of canal water is shrinking. The resultant decrease is being compensated with the ground water. Of the total irrigated area, 91% is irrigated using both canal as well as ground water. Only small portion of the total irrigated areas is now completely dependant either upon the canals or tube wells (1.7% on canals and 5.7% on tube wells)
- Cotton production, the identity of Vehari is facing some serious issues. For instance the production appears to be either static (has reached the saturation point) or declining. For instance the data available for the period 2000-01 to 2004-05 shows that out of 5 years, the production declined during 3 years(2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04).
- The extensive irrigation activity is not free from grave issues. Out of total cultivated area, 7% area has been affected by salinity.
- The rapid expansion in agriculture is made possible at the cost of lands thatwere earlier used as rough grazing lands or sustaining a forest cover. The forest area in the district has almost non existent. Only 0.04% area mostly in the form of trees planted along the roads or canals, is under the forest cover. The linear plantation in the district runs for 1393 kilometers.
The PSLM 2006-07 throws some light
on the economic situation of
households and communities in the
district. Almost 1/4th of urban and 14%
rural households were found to have
reported that their economic
conditions improved compared to the
previous year. Compared to them, 9%
urban and 13% rural households opined
that their economic situation worsened
compared to the previous year.
Vehari is located on the southern alternate route of both railway and road between Multan and Lahore, the capital of the province. The northern route is the main route. Both of these routes run roughly in a northeasterly direction, almost parallel to each other and only 20 to 30 miles apart at any given point. A section of the railway between Multan and Lahore was electrified on the main line between Khanewal and Lahore during the 1960s; however in subsequent decades and lately with rapid decline and deterioration of the infrastructure of Pakistan Railway (PR) the above electrified section lies in ruins and is not likely to be restored in the foreseeable future. With the new motorway between Multan and Lahore which is due to be completed sometimes in the early part of 2014, Vehari is set to benefit from its proximity to its north.
The Vehari route goes to Lahore through the religiously renowned city of Pakpattan, where the Sufi saint Fariduddin Ganjshakar is buried. Thousands of pilgrims come annually to Pakpattan for the saint’s Urs celebration which include all sorts of festivities. Selections from his work are included in the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh sacred scripture. He was commonly known as “Baba Farid”.
In sports, Vehari has produced many players. It is famous in the field of hockey. This area has enormous talent in this field. The famous players in the history of the game are :
- Afzal is a good player of POF Hockey team.
- Waseem Ahmed Ex Olympian and former captain of Pakistan National Hockey Team. He is one of the best left half produced by the world. He also got selected in World XI.
- Saleem Sherwani Ex hockey Olympic champion and world hockey champion.
- Sajjad Anwar International Player, represented Pakistan National Hockey Team.
- Waqas Akbar Olympian and currently representing Pakistan National Hockey.
- Malik Kashif currently representing Pakistan National Hockey.