THATTA: The floods, which caused massive destruction in Sindh last year, appear to have unearthed a 150-year-old ship in the middle of a river.
The ship was found a kilometre away from the Raju Nizamanai village of Union Council Jharak. It has two decks and is 100 feet long, 40 feet wide and 20 feet high. The upper part, which is around five to six feet high, can be seen from a considerable distance. The remaining part is buried in mud.
Residents said that they have been hearing about such a ship from their elders, who claim that it belongs to the British era. Since Jharak was a port during that era, many ships used to anchor here.
People who live in other villages have been arriving in Jharak to see the ship but the local government has yet to preserve it.
Residents Mohammad Hussain Turk and Mumtaz Turk told Express News that this ship was also seen after the floods during Ayub Khan’s era about 40 years ago but this time a larger part of the ship has become visible. They requested the government to take steps to preserve the remains of this historic ship.
According to historian MH Panhwar, the town of Jharak has survived the erosion of the Indus for 2,000 years. In one work, Early Irrigation under the British 1843-1932, he wrote of JG Fife, a superintending engineer, proposing a weir at Jharak. Aside from this, it is well established that Thatta was a prosperous trading centre for as far back as the time of the Portuguese. They reported that trade from ‘Sind’ accounted for almost 10 per cent of the custom revenue of the port, and the chronicler Diego de Couto described Thatta as one of the richest cities of the Orient, writes Claude Markovits in his book ‘The global world of Indian merchants, 1750-1947: traders of Sind from Bukhara to Panama’.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2011.