BAHAWALPUR

The government has planned to demolish the historical fountain which had been gifted by Queen Victoria of England in 1880 to Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi-IV and set up in 1918 at Chowk Fawar Bahawalpur.

The fountain in a shambles was functional a few years ago. Another such fountain was also installed in Buckingham Palace in the same year. The fountain is 10-feet high with its peripheral pond decorated with heads of animals wherefrom the water gushes out making a rainbow. It was specially transported from London to Karachi by ship and then to Bahawalpur by road. It was first affixed in 1880 at Sadiq Garh Palace - the residence of Amir but in 1918, he got it installed at the chowk.

The place where the fountain was set up became famous under the name of Fawara Chowk near Ahmed Puri Gate where five roads merge. The Ameer had himself supervised the installation of the fountain and inaugurated it after completion. It has been a source of pleasure for the tourists as well as the residents.

The historical value of the fountain is obvious as there are only two such fountains in the world - one is inside the Buckingham Palace and the other is at Bahawalpur. Now, the Bahawalpur administration is going to demolish the historical fountain by putting the sand in its ponds.

The local people criticised the government for its plan to bulldoze the historical fountain, saying that it was restoring the historical places in Lahore in their original shape but the heritage of Bahawalpur is being destroyed. They demanded that the Punjab chief minister should take notice of the plan.

When contacted, the DCO said that the demolition was aimed to avoid dengue fever spread.