Sunday, November 29, 2015

Lower Amudarya State Biosphere Reserve

The Lower Amudarya State Biosphere Reserve was established in Uzbekistan in 2013, and included the territory of the former Baday-Tugay National Reserve and some areas of Beruni and Amudarya districts of Karakalpakstan that had been transferred to the reserve, which made its total area equal to 68,717.8 ha. The reserve is situated in the lower course of the Amudarya, on its right bank, at the foothills of the Sultan-Uizdag Range.The territory has the form of an oval elongated from southeast to northwest. The reserve’s southern border is formed by the Amudarya River and the Taldyk tugai (riparian forest), while in the north and northwest it is bordered by the Kokdarya, the Amudarya’s tributary. Tugai is a riparian forest  ecosystem stretching along the banks of perennial rivers flowing through the steppe and desert areas.

 For much of the lower Amu Darya system the Tugai in the main is a narrow corridor only occupying a few dozen meters from the water's edge on both banks of the River. However in the lower reaches of the delta, where the wetted area is significant the riparian forests are transformed into impenetrable thicket, reminiscent of mangrove forests. Over the past decades as the level of the Aral Sea has fallen sharply there has been significant reduction in the area of the riparian woodlands.

The territory of the Amudarya Reserve includes a closed area of 11,568.3 ha which is protected with particular care. The principal goal of the Amudarya Reserve is to ensure conservation, reproduction and rational use of the sylvan resources of the Amudarya River delta, as well as to carry out scientific research and monitoring and help the economic development of the region and the preservation of cultural values. The reserve’s buffer zone is 6731.4 ha in area and is used for conservation, reproduction and restoration of natural objects and complexes.

The lands of the buffer zone are owned or rented by other land owners, users or tenants. The climate in the reserve is sharply continental. The winter is the most severe and characterised by the lowest temperatures in Uzbekistan. The temperature range is very wide, with the maximum of +44.4 °C and the minimum of lower than –30 °C. The average annual precipitation does not exceed 100 mm and falls as rain or snow. The total solar radiation amounts to 150 kcal/cm2. The autumn is rather short and features little precipitation.
The reserve is a home for some 167 species of plants. A large portion of the riparian forests is covered with climbing plants, such as the Chinese clematis (Clematis orientalis), Cynanchum sibiricum, Asparagus persicus and Cuscuta lehmanniana. The tugai is poor in undergrowth, which is represented by but a few species such as Erianthus, Calamagrostis and Imperata. The reserve’s wetlands feature the common reed grass, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Apocynum scabrum Russan, the common and ribwort plantain. The saline areas are occupied by Halostachs belanyeriana, Aeluropus littoralis, Suaeda, Tamarix and, in some places, the camel’s thorn.

The waters of the Amudarya and Kokdarya bordering the territory of the reserve are inhabited by over 20 species of fish, with the shovelnose, barbel, bream, asp, European carp, wels, grass carp and silver carp being the most valuable.   At present 13 reptiles are known to populate the Amudarya Reserve. The transitory zone between the riparian forest and the surrounding desert features the steppe tortoise and steppe agama. Ablepharus deserti can often be encountered among the fallen leaves of the Asiatic poplar in the riparian forest. At twilight Cytropodion caspius can be seen preparing for hunt. Eremias velox, Eremias lineolata are also quite common for the reserve. Comparing with lizards, snakes are not so numerous. The dice snake lives near the Kokdrya river, among large stones and tree roots. Psammophis lineolatus can be seen among thickly growing willow trees, while the riparian areas covered with grass feature the Elaphe dione. Two other snakes, the spotted desert racer (Coluber karelini) and Elaphe guttata are known to live under the walls of the medieval fortress Jampyk-kala.
Multiple places suitable for nesting (trees, shrubs, thick grass cover, steep banks and sand banks on the Amudarya) attract various bird species to the reserve. The forest is a good place for passing migratory birds, where they can rest and find much food. A total of 91 species of birds have been recorded in the Amudarya Reserve, with 39 nesting birds, 16 non-migratory birds, 18 wintering birds and 18 passing migratory birds. The non-migratory birds include the long-legged buzzard, common and lesser kestrels, Phasianus colchicus chrysomelas, the rock dove, laughing dove, little owl, long-eared owl, white-winged woodpecker, crested lark, magpie, carrion crow, jackdaw, cinereous tit (Parus cinereus), Parus bokharensis, the common myna (Acridotheres tristis) and tree sparrow. In spring they are joined by a large number of birds that arrive to build nests in the reserve, among which are the black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), roody shelduck, mallard, serpent eagle, black kite, shikra, peregrine falcon, stone curlew, white-tailed lapwing, stilt, black, common and little terns, yellow-eyed pigeon, turtle dove, cuckoo, striated scops-owl, Egyptian nightjar, kingfisher, common and blue-cheeked bee-eaters, roller, hoopoe, black swift, sand martin, Eurasian golden oriole, white-crowned penduline tit, common swallow, nightingale, olivaceous and Sykes’ warblers, lesser whitethroat, rufous-tailed scrub robin, masked, black-headed and yellow wagtails and shrike. In winter time the reserve is a nesting area for such northern birds as the merlin, goshawk, sparrow hawk, common buzzard, short-eared owl, black and horned larks, hooded crow, thrushes (mistle thrush, fieldfare, redwing and blackbird), waxwing, starling, reed bunting and Eurasian hawfinch. In cold winters the chukar partridge, a typical mountain dweller, flies to the reserve from the Sultan Uizdag Range. There are a number of birds which stop in the area for a short rest on their way to the north early in spring. They include the spotted flycatcher, redstarts (common, black and rufous-backed redstart), European robin, Siberian chiffchaff, greenish warbler, whitethroat, rock sparrow, chaffinch, brambling, siskin and rosefinch. Phasianus colchicus chrysomelas is a true pride of the Amudarya Biosphere Reserve.

The mammals of the reserve are represented by 58 species. The insectivorous mammals include the eared hedgehog and piebald shrew. The whiskered bat, common pipistrelle and parti-coloured bat comprise the order Chiroptera, while the lagomorphs are represented by the tolai hare. The pest rat, house mouse and midday gerbil are representatives of the rodents inhabiting the area. Among the predators the commonest are the jackal, which hides in the thickest parts of the forest, and the badger, also preferring areas thickly covered with trees or shrubs. If you are lucky enough, you can encounter a jungle cat near the river. The wild boar and Bactrian deer comprise the ungulate fauna of the reserve.
The Bactrian deer or Haragul once populated the Amudarya basin and the lower Syrdarya region. Human activity led to a great shortage of the deer population and to its disappearance from the wild nature by the early 1970s. In May 1976 three specimens (two females and a male) were brought to the Baday-Tugay Reserve from the Ramit Reserve (Tajikistan), which became the first step towards the restoration of the animal’s population in Uzbekistan. They were placed in net-walled pens built for the purpose. In December 1979 nine more deer were brought in to the reserve all of which acclimatised and bred and in time were released into the riparian forest. Now the total number of the deer living in the wild number about 400. They have also started to spread to the neighbouring riparian forests, both on the right and on the left banks of the Amudarya. Today the Reserve contains the world’s largest population of the Bactrian deer, which makes it globally significant.

Source: (ED)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Silk Road - The Catalan Atlas

Source: Above legend: The caravan of the Polo brothers left the Empire of Sarra to go to Catayo, across the Great Desert (Sarai, on the Edil [Volga], was the capital of the Kipchak Tartars, from which the Polos had set out about 1262.

This 'atlas' was the work of Abraham Cresques who worked in Majorca at the end of the 14th century and was commissioned by Charles V of France at a time when the reputation of the Catalan chart makers was at its peak. Considered the best Majorcan mapmaker of the time: Abraham Cresques.contained the latest information on Asia and China and has subsequently been called "the most complete picture of geographical knowledge as it stood in the later Middle Ages."


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Medieval Scientists of the East

Biographical details of Medieval Scientists of the East from the International conference “Historical heritage of the scientists and philosophers of the medieval East, its role and importance for the modern civilization” held in Tashkent in April 2014. Go to website medieval-scientists-of-the-east and click on each scientist for more detailed information.

Abu Abdalloh Muhamad ibn Musa al Khorazmi : about 783–847. Mathematician, astronomer, geographer and historian, creator of algebra.
Abu Nasr Mansur ibn Iraq : Died mid 9th century, Khorezm, Ghazna. Mathematician and astronomer.
Abul-Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Kasir al Farghani: about 798-865. Astronomer, mathematician, and engineer.
Abu Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad Beruni: Born 973 in Kyat. Died in 1048 in Gazna. Encyclopaedist, astronomer, mathematician, geographer, physicist, geologist, pharmacologist, historian, linguist, founder of geodesy.
Aby Mansur Qumri : Lived in the 10th century, Bukhara. Prominent physician, teacher of Avicenna in medical science.
Abu Sahl Masihi : 970-971 to 1011. Gurgan. Astronomer, mathematician, physician and linguist.
Khorezmi Kasi : Lived in the 9th century. Scientist and Chemist.
Muhammad b. Najib Bahran : Lived during the 12th-13th centuries. A well-known geographer in the government of Annushteginid Khorezm-Shahs.
Shihab ad-din Abdallah b. Lutfallah b. Abd ar- Rashid al- Haravi nicknamed as Hafiz-i Abru. Died in 1430. A well-known historian and geographer of the epoch of the Temurids.
Nizamaddin Abdalvasi Shami: Died in 1411, Tabriz. A historian and biographer of Amir Temur
Muinaddin Natanzi  Born second half of the 14th c. and died first quarter of the 15th c. Historian.
Ahmad Yungnaki : Lived in the 12th-13th centuries. Philologist, Philosopher, Expert of the Islamic sciences
Alisher Navoi : Born in Herat 1441 – Died 1501. Great poet and thinker, statesman, and considered the founder of Uzbek literature.
Zahiriddin Muhammad Babur : Born in Andajan 1483 , Died in Agra in 1530. Great poet and writer, public figure, scholar, lexicographer, linguist and literary critic.
Yusuf Khas Hajib Balasaguni : Born 1016/18. Died end of the 9th c. Scholar and lexicographer, poet and philosopher.
Mahmud ibn al-Xuseyn ibn Muhamed Kashghari: Lived 1029-1101.  Encyclopedic Scientist, lexicographer, linguist, ethnographer, folklorist, geographer, historian, founder of Turkology.
Giyasiddin Jamshid ibn Mas’ud Qashi : Died in 1430. Mathematician and astronomer.
Mahmud Chagmini : Lived from the 12-13th Century. Astronomer, mathematician and geographer.
Abu Ali Ibn Sina : Born 980, village Afshan. Died in 1037, Hamadan. Scholar and lexicographer, philosopher, physician, pharmacologist, astronomer, mathematician, chemist, musicologist, writer, lawyer, poet.
Sharafaddin ali Yazdi : Died in 1454, in Taft, Horasan. An all-round scholar, astronomer, philosopher, historian, the investigater of science problems.
Fasih Havafi : Born 1375, Rui. Died 1442, Herat.  Historian, poet, politician.
Fahriddin Razi : Lived 1148-1210. Philosopher, logician, linguist, medical specialist.
Mahmud Zamahshari : Born 1075 Zamahshar, Died 1144, Gurganj. Scientist.
Ala ad-Din Ali ibn Muhammad al-Qushchi : Born 1402, Samarqand. Died 1474, Istanbul. Astronomer, mathematician, and geographer.
Yusuf ibn Yusuf at-tabib al-Khiravi : Born at the end of the 15th  Khaf. Died in Delhi 1544. Medical scientist, skilful physician, lexicographer, and poet.
Giyasaddin Nakkash. Died Second half of the 15th century, Yezd.  An artist and historian of the Temurids’ epoch.
Abd ar-Razzak Samarkandi : Lived 1413-1482.  A well-known historian of the epoch of the Temurids
Giyasiddin ibn Humamaddin al-Huseyn, nicknamed Khandamir : Born 1476, Herat – Died in 1535, Mandu. Historian, writer, poet, politician.
Mukhammadrizo mirab ibn Erniyazbek Agakhi : Born 1809 Kiyat – Died 1874, Khiva. Statesman, poet, historian, translator.
Shirmuhammad mirab ibn Avazby Muniz : Born 1778 Kiyat, Died in 1829, Khorasan. Statesman, poet, historian and translator.
Ismail Jurjani : Born Jurjan 1042. Died Merv 1036. Renowned physician.
Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Yusuf al-Khorezmi. Died in 997. Encyclodedist scientist, philosopher, historian , astronomer, mathematician, chemist, expert in Islamic Studies.
Mirza Muhammad Taraghay ibn Shahrukh ibn Timur. Born 1394, Sultaniyeh. Died 1449, Samarkand. Astronomer, mathematician, geographer, historian.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Aydar Arnasay Lakes System - Ramsar Site

The Aydar-Arnasay lakes system is situated in the south-eastern part of Uzbekistan (Navoi and Dzhizak provinces). In the north it is bordered by the Kyzyl-Kum desert, to the south by the foothills of the North-Nuratau mountains and to the east by extensive irrigated areas of the Golodnaya steppe. The Aydar-Arnasay lakes system includes three brackish water lakes (Aydar Kul, Arnasay and Tuzkan). Up to the middle of the last century the Arnasay lowland remained a dry Salt pan during most of the year. Only in Spring, in the lowlands, would the small, ephemeral Lake Tuzkan glisten briefly, disappearing in the hot weather.

In the early sixties the Chardarya irrigation dam was constructed on the Syr Darya. Floodgates were provided in the dam for flood control, and when in 1969 a raging flood occurred, these were opened as the dam's capacity was inadequate to cope with the flow. Between February 1969 and February 1970 almost 60% of the Syr Darya's average annual water flow (21 km³) drained from the Chardarya Reservoir into the Arnasay lowland. Since 1969 the Aydar Lake has regularly received the waters of the Syr Darya River when they overflow the capacity of the Chardarya Reservoir. This has gradually filled up the natural cavity of Arnasay lowland to create the second largest lake in the region (after the Aral Sea). The total length east to west of these lakes is 300 km and its north to south its width varies from 30 to 50 km. The water level of the lakes system is 240-242 m ASL the water surface area more than 3700 square km and ther has a volume of about 44.3 cubic km.

The Aydar Arnasay Lakes System was designated a RAMSAR site in 1977. Being located at the crossroads of the Afro-Eurasian and Central Asian flyways it is a centre for migrating and wintering waterbirds, with more than 100 species noted. It provides a habitat to threatened species like White-headed Duck Savka (Oxyura leucocephala), Sociable Lapwing (Chettusia gregaria), Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus), Red-breasted Goose (Rufibrenta ruficollis), Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erytropus), and Pallas Sea-eagle (Haliaetus leucoryphus)  In addition there are many other kinds of water birds migrating from the Aral Sea that make their homes around the lake. On migration there are found many different kinds of ducks, swans, geese, cranes, bustard, pelican, cormorant, white and grey herons, terns, snipe, pheasant, snipe, spoonbills and egrets in the Aydur Aransay.

The main vegetation of the lakelands are reed communities, saltwort, amarisk.,calligonum, sedge, bonfires, astragalus, boyalych and yantak. In the coastal scrub and reed can be found muskrats, wolves, wild boars, jackals, fox, badgers , and jungle cat. And among the sand lands often meets jerboa, yellow gopher steppe tortoise, big-eared hedgehog, boa, various snakes, lizard, and steppe agama. The lake systems also provides an important source of food and a spawning ground for various species of fish, including the Sazan (Cyprinus carpio), Pike perch (Stizostedion lucioperca), Bream (Abramis brama), Cat-fish (Silurus glanis), Hzereh (Aspius aspius), Chehon (Pelecus cultratus), Ophidian fish (Channa argus) were introduced to the lake, which nowadays works as a source of industrial fishing.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Kyzyl Kum "Desert"


In Uzbek: Qizilqum, In Kazakh:Qyzylqum (Қызылқұм) is the 16th largest desert in the world covering about 300,000 km2. Its name means Red Sand in Turkic languages. It is located in Central Asia in between the rivers Amu Darya and Syr Darya south east of the Aral Sea, a region historically known as Transoxania or Sogdiana. Today it is divided between Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and (partly within) Turkmenistan. It consists of a plain sloping down toward the northwest, with a number of isolated bare mountains rising to a height of 922 m (Sultanuizdag) and several large enclosed basins. Precipitation,100–200 mm annually, occurs mainly in winter and spring.
Temperatures can be very high during the summer months, from mid-May to mid-September. The name Qyzlqum means Red Sand in Turkic languages. It is located in Central Asia in between the rivers Amu Darya and Syr Darya south east of the Aral Sea, a region historically known as Transoxania or Sogdiana. Today it is divided between Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and (partly within) Turkmenistan. It consists of a plain sloping down toward the northwest, with a number of isolated bare mountains rising to a height of 922 m (Sultanuizdag) and several large enclosed basins. Precipitation, 100–200 mm annually, occurs mainly in winter and spring. Temperatures can be very high during the summer months, from mid-May to mid-September.Although the desert has no surface streams, there are abundant reserves of fresh underground water. Most of the desert lies in the middle subzone of the temperate zone deserts; in the south it borders on subtropical deserts. Soils are gray-brown and sandy, and solonets and solonchak are also found.
The vegetation cover is rich in ephemerals. Sand sedge, white saxaul, Ammodendron conollyi, and Salsola richteri are common on the sand ridges, and wormwood grows on the clayey hills. Thickets of Anabasis salsa and saltworts are found in the northwest, and in the valleys of dry riverbeds are black saxaul woodlands. The desert is inhabited by animals adapted to living without watering places, getting all or most of their water from their food. To decrease their need for water, many of them are nocturnal. The mammals are represented by the Persian gazelle, long-clawed suslik, large-toothed suslik, gerbil, jerboa, sand and steppe cats, wolves, corsac fox, and Cape hare. Birds include the crested lark, desert warbler, houbara bustard, and saxaul jay. There are also snakes (saw-scaled viper, levantine viper, sand boa, and arrow snake), lizards, and Horsfield’s terrapin.
Desert fauna include the Russian tortoise (Testudo horsfieldii) and a large lizard known as the Transcaspian or Desert Monitor (Varanus griseus), which can reach lengths of 1.6 m. The Saiga Antelope (Saiga tatarica) also occasionally migrates through the northern part of the desert.

The economy is based on a growing mining industry and livestock raising. Livestock are mainly fine-fleeced karakul sheep, bactrian camels and dromedaries. In the central and western parts of the desert large artesian basins have been discovered and are being exploited in many areas. As a result of irrigation many small oases have been created, which are the centers for livestock farms. The livestock feed off forage from salinity tolerant crops (halophytes) and watered from artesian wells.The Kyzyl Kum is well known for its deposits of gold, uranium, copper, aluminium and silver, natural gas and oil. Also marble, graphite, and turquoise are extracted. The development of most the famous gold-field at Muruntau began in the early 1970s. The centres for the mining and smelting industry in the region are Navoi, Zarafshan city, Uchkuduk. In addition important natural-gas deposits are exploited at Gazli in the southeast and processed at nearby industrial town of Mubarek.



Sunday, November 15, 2015

Catastrophic collapse of saiga population in Central Kazakhstan

In the northern summer a  catastrophic die-off  hit the largest population of the Critically Endangered saiga antelope Saiga tatarica located in central Kazakhstan. 

This virulent mysterious epizootic illness caused herd fatality of 100% once they were infected. It is estimated that more than 120,000 saiga were lost, some 40% of the species' total worldwide population of 250,000.

The deaths have been attributed to the Pasteurella bacterium an opportunistic pathogen that weakens the immune system.  It seems also likely that a number of environmental stress factors were involved that made the Saiga susceptible to the bacterium. An international team has been put together to investigate the deaths.

Source: For more information on the species see Saiga Conservation Alliance publication

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

New Helicopter Mi-8 MTV for Uzbekistan Airways

Uzbekistan Airways has purchased for 12.7 million an Mi-8 MTV-1 multi-purpose helicopter produced by Russian Helicopters in Kazan. Unique in its functionality it will be soon added to the existing fleet of nine helicopters.

Unlike most other ex-USSR states, Uzbekistan keeps its special-purpose aviation under government control. The dedicated operator, Special Aviation Services (SAS), was founded in 1997, initially as an arm of the national carrier Uzbekistan Airways aimed at optimizing the mother company’s structure. At present, SAS has its own air operator certificate and a document entitling it to provide MRO services, both issued by the Uzbek aviation authority.

In April 2015 the company increased its fleet with ninth Mi-8MTV-1 heavy transport helicopter that was delivered under a contract with Russian Helicopters. SAS helicopters are based at Sergeli airfield 7 km to the south of Tashkent. The company uses these rotorcraft in a variety of roles, including for snow patrol flights and for carrying tourists to skiing resorts. The helicopters are overhauled in Russia with MRO work performed by St. Petersburg-based provider Sparc.

The Mi-8 MTV-1 is a unique multi-purpose helicopter, based at the Mi-8T model. The helicopter as a cargo helicopter can transport up to 4,000 kg of various kinds of cargo either inside the cabin or on an external sling. Used as a passenger helicopter is can carry up to 26 passengers & crew and boasts low levels of noise and vibration, is fitted with cabin climate-control systems, and has emergency exits that meet the latest safety standards. Everything is designed to ensure passenger in-flight comfort and safety.

Mi-8 helicopters are built at Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant and by Kazan Helicopters. More than 12,000 Mi-8 helicopters have been produced to date – a record for twin-engine helicopters anywhere in the world. They have been supplied to more than 100 countries worldwide and racked up total flying time of about 100 million hours.


Also see Commercial Helicopters in Uzbekistan

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Transcaspian Urial (Ovis vignei arkal) - Endangered Species

INTRODUCTION  Locally known as  the Arakal  in the Ustyurt region of Central Asia. 

Preferring gentle mountain slopes and plateaus, the graceful and high-legged urials are adjusted to moving deftly on rolling terrain. The weakening of the nature reserve system has led to increased poaching combined with overgrasing by domestic livestock in their range the numbers of urials have drastically declined now the total number in the wild are believed to be less than 5,000. 

DESCRIPTION The horn length of an adult male is up to 110 cm. Shoulder height up to 99 cm. Weight up to 90 kg. Females can weigh up to 45 kg. A large, bright-coloured, very handsome urial. Adult rams have a white bib and a long, white neck ruff; immature males have a smaller, dark neck ruff. Upper parts are uniformly tawny-brown. Rump patch, muzzle, belly and lower legs are white, and there is a darker stripe separating belly and upper body. No saddle patch, but some males have a dark shoulder spot in winter coat. The horns are rather long and homonymous, growing in a tight circle or forming an open spiral. The frontal horn surface is flat, with sharp angles and distinct ridges, triangular in cross section. Females have short, straight horns.

DISTRIBUTION Kazakhstan: The Ustyurt Plateau between the Caspian and Aral seas, and southward in the Kopet Dag range. Uzbekistan: Western. Turkmenistan: Southern. Iran: From the Kopet Dag range through Khorasan Province in the northeast. Afghanistan: In the extreme northwest, bordering Iran and Turkmenistan.

ЗАКАСПИЙСКИЙ УРИАЛ : Trans-Caspian Urial (англ.), Transkaspischer Urialschaf (нем.), Transcaspien urial (фр.),Urial del Transcaspio, Urial de arkal (исп.).

Friday, November 6, 2015


The name 'Pakistan' had very mundane beginnings on top of a London double-decker bus, and the origins of the term reverts to Karakalpakstan. The term 'Pakistan' was first coined by Khawaja Abdur Rahim, then a student in London. While poring over a 1930 map of Central Asia whilst sitting on top of a bus taking him to university he came upon reference to the then new autonomous area, Karakalpakstan located in the Soviet Union, however, the book spine showed the portion "pakstan" as separate, which is what set Rahim thinking. "Since 'pak' stands for pure in Urdu, the name struck Rahim as the most appropriate" for the new Muslim homeland being planned in majority Muslim areas of British India.

Rahim reported his idea to Chaudhry Rehmat Ali, a key player in the struggle for the creation of a Muslim homeland on the Subcontinent. Ali had already proposed the carving out of enclaves with names such as Osmanistan for Hyderabad, Bangistan for Bengal, and Maplistan for Kerala.

He liked Rahim's suggestion and immediately produced a pamphlet with the name 'Pakstan' included. "The 'i' of 'Pakistan' came later after transliteration into Urdu which rendered 'stan' as 'istan' in much the same manner as 'school' becomes 'iskool',"

The countries founding father Mohammad Ali Jinnah's and others in the Muslim League are said to have liked the name and the rest is history.

ADB issues $150 million USD loan to help deliver reliable power in northwestern Uzbekistan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $150 million loan to expand and modernize the high-voltage power grid in the north-western region of Uzbekistan, including the construction of 364 kilometres of new transmission lines and three substations in Karakalpakstan and Khorezm.
Uzbekistan has substantial primary energy resources, with total installed capacity for power generation reaching 13,500 megawatts, of which thermal accounts for 86% and hydro the remaining 14%.

The government has adopted plans to increase energy efficiency, but aging infrastructure results in higher risk of outages, poor service quality, high maintenance costs, and increased transmission losses, all of which constrain economic activity.

To address these problems, the funding will strengthen the regional power transmission network by constructing 364 kilometers of single-circuit 220 kilovolt (kV) overhead transmission lines connecting Takhiatash thermal power plant, Khorezm substation, and Ellikala substation. It will also expand and rehabilitate the existing Khorezm substation, open switchyards in the  Takhiatash thermal power plant, and build a new 500/220 kV substation in Ellikala.

In addition, the project will help state-owned power utility Uzbekenergo boost its own management capacity through much-needed activities such as upgrading system planning and dispatch automation, strengthening assets management, and staff training.

Along with ADB’s loan from ordinary capital resources, the Government of Uzbekistan and Uzbekenergo will provide counterpart support of $105 million. The project will run for nearly 4 years with an expected completion date of end December 2019.