Bahrain's offshore fountain to be relocated
Manama, August 25, 2008
Bahrain's only offshore water fountain could soon be relocated to make way for a new National Assembly complex.
The sea where the 123-metre high fountain was located is now being reclaimed and will soon become the new home of Bahrain's parliament and Shura Council.
It was given to the people as a gift from His Majesty King Hamad and officially started operating off the coast of Juffair in February 2006.
However, a senior Manama Municipality official said it had been unused for 'months' after it was turned off by the Works Ministry.
It was then handed over to the Municipalities and Agriculture Ministry, which in turn made it the responsibility of the Manama Municipality.
However, municipality officials say they have been asked not to operate it because spray could hinder work on the new National Assembly complex.
They are now considering moving it from its current location off Al Fateh Corniche if a suitable alternative can be found.
'We still don't know if it will be returned to its original location or moved elsewhere,' said the top municipality official, who asked to remain anonymous.
'Whether the fountain will be incorporated within the new complex or not is in the hands of the contractor, but he advised us to keep it turned off so it can be relocated as work progresses.'
Manama Municipal Council services and public utilities chairman Hameed Al Basri claimed Bahrain could lose one of its landmarks to development.
'This is a clear waste of money and what's worse is that it is a gift from His Majesty to the people of Bahrain,' he said.
'Why have it in the first place if it will be moved after just two-and-a-half years?
'It is very upsetting to see this monument being shelved - there are similar scenarios in which a number of monuments were removed for development and never put back again.'
He was referring to cases like the map of Bahrain, which was removed from the junction at Tubli Bay, and the old entrance to Mina Salman port.
The fountain, which is similar in height to the renowned Jet D'Eau in Geneva, has a main jet that propels more than 285,969 gallons of water per hour into the sky.
It fires water out at 142mph, while 40 smaller jets provide a ring of water eight metres high around the main jet.
The mechanism is in a barge securely anchored to the seabed with several heavy anchors weighing 300 tonnes.
Two powerful pumps are used to deliver water through a nozzle especially designed to achieve the desired height.
Operation is automatic and includes a control system that limits operation in case of adverse sea conditions or high winds.
The fountain was designed and manufactured in Germany, Holland and the UK. - TradeArabia News Service
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