You can call it the fallout of MCC passage from the parliament. Since the people are mad as hell and the party image has gone down the drain, the cunning politicians have taken up new way to assert their reputation and keep the people in doldrums all over again by showing how they are developing the country. In that regard, the PM is headed to India while the other two found their own pet project. Surprisingly they both chose the same mode, one went to Rolpa and the other went to Jhapa, but both of them inaugurated view towers, which has become a symbol of development of Republican regime.
The Rolpa view tower is a commemorative one for the people’s war, while the Jhapa one is the Oli district, and the tower conceived by the then Pm Oli. It was even boasted to be the tallest view tower in Nepal. At the proposed budget of 15 billion (1.5 arba), it was meant to attract tourists to the area.
The irony is that the tower has been constructed at an altitude of 2,055 meters from sea level which acts as a natural view tower.
— No Next Question (@NoNext_Question) March 29, 2022
The social media is buzzing with ironic posts of such pseudo development projects. While the real need of the people are good schools, hospitals, drinking water, roads and other infrastructure needs, the political parties and their proponents are hell-bent on view towers, hence they have been springing up all across Nepal in the hill region, whereas in the Terai region, the menace mostly seems to be construction of welcome gates. It seems ironic that hill areas focus on towers while the plain/terai region on gates. The opposite would have made more sense.
People have been up front about opposing such superficial development that does not make lives better for the common people. Since social media has become an easy means to show their displeasure, people are posting against them. Even the language used show displeasure and irritation on republican regime. Following are some example from YouTube. There is one post of a hospital operation facility that is in dilapidated condition and merely a shed, with the comment that all the money went to build view tower.
Similarly, someone posted side by side image of the hospital and view tower in Rolpa. The difference is pretty stark.
रोल्पा जिल्ला अस्पताल रोल्पाको भ्यू टावर pic.twitter.com/NA8hQtmdpn
— Tul (@108tul) March 28, 2022
Another post laments the lack of any facility that people need, while the tower gets so much funding.
बिचारा रोल्पाली-गाउँमा बाटो बिजुली पानी न पाएर तड्पेका छन यी हराम खोरहरू लाई करोडको भ्युटावर र घर बाट थुती थुती मार्ने मार्ने हरुको सालिक बनाएर सान बेग्लै छ।यस्तो शालिक बनाउने खर्चमा त बरु तीनै घाइते सेनालाई उपचार अनि उनिहरुकाे बच्चालाई निशुल्क शिक्षा दिने संचयकाेष खडा गर्नु नि। pic.twitter.com/WV5Ehck11Q
— Tek Narayan Dayalu (@tnpoudelymailc2) March 28, 2022
While the craze for view towers are definitely perceived as misguided concept, another major concern is the corruption associated with them. What area is free of corruption, anyway? But the image below shows the naked corruption in such project.
The malaise lies in the need to show some concrete work for all the years the republican leaders have been braying about developing Nepal into Singapore, Switzerland, Japan and so on. Talk is cheap, but the vision is not there. It just shows the deficit of learned people in the political arena. Education quality, hospital service and other things that are more subtle in nature cannot be touted by the opportunist political actors, but the building, structures, and eye-catching images are far more effective in making talk claims.
Most ironic of all to me is the image below which beats even the view tower.
One thing is clear, Nepal is going through a totally misguided phase and one can wonder if it will ever find the right path. When the view towers craze comes to an end that could be a sign of a new beginning, or maybe a new craze will replace it.
You can sample the reactions to view towers in the posts below:
अाज छबिलालले उद्घाटन गर्ने रे याे राेल्पाकाे भ्युटावर।
एक त त्याे डाँडा अाफैँमा भ्यु टावर हाे, अनि त्याे टावरमा चढेर हेर्ने के? याे पैशाले स्वास्थ्यचाैकी, खानेपानी, सिँचार्इ अादि पनि बन्थ्याे हाेला।
के यही भ्यु टावर नभएर हाे १० वर्षसम्म युद्ध गर्न लगाएर ल्याकाे याे गलगाँडतन्त्र? pic.twitter.com/xn1qjSPgKb
— अात्रेय कुलदीप (@PoudelKuldip) March 28, 2022
प्रचन्ड कमरेड, हेलिकप्टर चढेर रोल्पातिर टावर उद्घाटन गर्न जादा धर्तीतिर हेर्ने भुल चाही नर्गनु होला। नत्र ती बाटोमा अलपत्र परेकी सुत्केरी देखिन सक्छिन् या त्यो दोबाटोमा जम्मिएको नवजात शिशुको क्रन्दनले तपाईलाई डिस्टर्ब गर्न सक्छ । कृपया होशियार रहनु होला। pic.twitter.com/rjkurjS42i
— Sadiksha Karki (@Sadiksha_karki_) March 28, 2022
दसैँमा टीका लगाउँदा खर्च हुने चामलले कति गरिबको छाक टर्थ्यो, श्राद्धमा दिइने पिण्डले कति भोकाहरु अघाउँथे, इत्यादि भन्दै परम्परागत धर्मसंस्कृति मान्न हुँदैन भनेर तर्क गर्नेहरु आज के भन्छन् ? कि धर्मसंस्कृति मास्न मात्र तेसो भनिएको हो? एसबाट गरिबका पेटमा सोझै पक्वान्न पुग्ने भयो त? pic.twitter.com/aGyuBTw1nj
— आमोद आचार्य Amoda Acharya (@amoda67) March 29, 2022
— Chiran Sharma (@chiranuk) January 26, 2022
देशैभर भ्यु टावर निर्माण गर्ने होड यसरी चलिरहेछ कि मानौ विकास र संवृद्धीका सूचक नै ति सिमेन्टेड भ्यू टावर हुन्।हामीलाई अग्ला अग्ला पहाडमाथी कुरुप भ्यु टावर कदापि चाहिएको होइन,देशलाई भ्यू दिन सक्ने टावर पर्सनालिटी चाहिँ चाहिएको हो।
तस्वीरमा: रोल्पा जिल्लामा निर्मित भ्यू टावर! pic.twitter.com/xJWuoF4jLZ
— Manavi Paudel (@ManaviPaudel) March 29, 2022
The writer is a graduate of Arizona State University in Political Science. He is working as a social activist and motivational speaker for students across Nepal since 2007.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Nepalisite.