About Sistan and Baluchestan Province
The province of Sistan & Baluchestan is situated in the South-East of the Islamic Republic of Iran. With an area of 181,578 km2, it is the largest province in the country. From the South the province has a coastal border with the Oman Sea. On the East, it borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan. On the North it is bordered by the Southern Khorasan Province and on the West it borders Kerman and Hormozgan provinces.It encompasses a vast and diversified region extending in the North to the indigo plains of the Oman Sea in the South. The province of Sistan and Baluchestan is comprised of 7 main cities, namely, Zahedan (the capital city), Zabol, Khash, Saravan, Iranshahr, Nikshahr and Chabahar. There are several smaller cities also which are scattered throughout the province.
Though the largest province in the country, it is relatively sparsely populated. According to the 2011 census only 2,534,327 people live in this province which constitutes 3.4% of the total population of the country. About 50.4 of the population lives in the rural areas, with the remaining 49.6% living in the cities.
Geographically, the province is comprised from two different land structures. In the North Dasht- e- Sistan formed by Hirmand alluvium holds the largest fresh water lake in the country is also situated in this region. Strong winds are another distinct feature of the region, with a constant 120- windy days in summer. The Southern part is mostly mountainous with a variety of climates due to the vicinity with Taftan Volcano & Oman Sea.
This strategically located province has immense potentials in agriculture, fisheries and valuable untapped mineral deposits. However, due to insufficient local investment and skilled manpower, it has relatively lagged behind the rest of the country in development. With the establishment of regional teaching and research institutes and universities, and initiation of various projects this province is now in the fast-track of development and promises a bright future for its inhabitants, as well as, the country.
Zahedan is easily accessible:
Three daily flights from Tehran, connects Zahedan international airport to the capital and also there are occasional flights to some other major cities and to some neighbouring countries like Dubai.
Highway 95 links Zahedan to Tehran and Mashhad in the north and the port of Bandar Chabahar on the Sea of Oman in the south, and Highway 84 to the Pakistani city of Quetta in the east and to Kerman in the west.
Moreover, a broad railway line has extended from Zahedan to Quetta in Pakistan.
More recently, a standard gauge line was completed from Zahedan to Kerman in central Iran, linking Zahedan with the rest of the Iranian rail network. This was the result of an 18 May 2007, MOU for rail cooperation that was signed by Pakistan and Iran under which the line was to be completed by December 2008.
The line was officially completed with an opening ceremony on 19 June 2009. This makes Zahedan the location of the break of gauge between the Islamic Republic of Iran Railway's standard gauge tracks and Pakistan Railway's Indian gauge tracks.