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 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.

Another post laments the lack of any facility that people need, while the tower gets so much funding.

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.

Civil engineers are richer than binod chaudhary in nepal. from Nepal

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. 

12 feet by 16 feet statue of a pig in Udayapur, Nepal. Total cost to built the statue was NRs 6 million.

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:


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.

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