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Sukkur formerly Arore and Bakhar, is the third largest city
of Sindh province, situated on the west bank of River Indus. Arore, located 25 kilometers
away from Sukkur, is a hilly area rich in limestone and hard rock that are used
mostly in the construction of roads. The mines and mineral development department
has issued lease to contractors to break the rocks in certain areas, between
Rohri in Sukkur district and Kotdiji in Khairpur district.
The contractors crushing stones in Arore use explosives to
blast out the rocks. This makes their job easier but it is a pain for the
residents who have to suffer from cracked walls, loud noises and damage to
historical buildings. Sometimes, after the blast, the rocks fly out to the
highway where they have injured several people.
Prior to the invasion by the Arabs in
AD 713, Sindh was ruled by
a Hindu dynasty whose Capital was at Arore a large city on the banks of the Indus
Blasting and stone crushing can cause major crack and damages
to these places as the blasting also damaged a historical mosque, built by
Mohammad Bin Qasim.
Continuous quarrying and blasting in
close proximity of these ancient sites for the last many decades have caused
substantial loss to these ancient places.
Since the manual extraction process is very slow and
time-consuming, the contractors use explosives to blast the rocks – a practice
banned by the district administration.
The contractor are just pay Rs10,000 as
non-refundable fee and Rs150 per acre every year to work in the hilly region.
The lease is renewed every year with instructions that the contractors will not
use explosives to break the rocks, said Sukkur mineral development department's
assistant director, Asadullah Shah. They must break them manually, he stressed.