Top three visionary moves for New Nepal

Posted by: Rudra Pandey

Last week I was in the tropical Hawaiian Islands with my family, for a winter getaway. The kinds of infrastructure development they have done really inspired me to write this quick note. Hawaii is America’s 50th state and is definitely the number #1 tourist destination for Americans and others visiting America. I could easily believe that after I saw its white sand beaches and amazing culture. What’s more is that there is the inviting Pacific right outside your front door. The people who live in Hawaii really rely on tourists and a lot of jobs there are tourist service related. This is because the state’s number one industry is tourism and the second is military related as it has 14 different military bases. Comparing Hawaii to the other tropical islands like Fiji, Mauritius, and many others, I can positively say that none of them have accomplished what Hawaii has. I think this is because of the visionary moves set by the democratically elected government. That’s why it is said that “American democracy is not good – but it’s the best in the world we have so far.” These leaders know how to set vision and move forward without worrying about little things. Leaders must trust others to get the little things done and launch the BIG visionary things to set the tone of the nation in the right direction.

hawaii.jpg

I can see Nepal being what I call a “landlocked Hawaii”, particularly for our neighbors China and India. This will be possible only if we make the right changes and move forward with the right vision and goal though. When this particular thought came to me, I happened to think of, what are in my opinion, the top three visionary moves that we can set for a new and improved Nepal. If we succeed with these visions, it will result in a Nepal that attracts tourists and helps us prosper. I apologize for anecdotal listing as I did not have time to do any research and did not want to do any either. I wanted this to be of my own. I guessed I had enough know-how of my country. This is what I thought of:

1. Make Cities nice and clean – Tourism is one of our best hopes and it will remain so for the long run. Tourists always first arrive in the city and the first impression is something they are bound to remember. They get their last impressions from cities too as they depart to other locations from our cities. When the first and the last impressions are unsatisfactory, no matter how much we boast of our beautiful mountains and Himalayas, we can’t attract more tourists if our cities remain the way they are now. We must clean them to make them inviting. The first few tactical moves to get the cleaning campaign started would be to:

- Strictly enforce commercial and residential zoning: we need to do this to save our cities from appearing as slumps rather than cities.

- Privatize public area cleaning jobs – let’s not depend upon city employed cleaners. They have not been able to do the job to the level that a private company might do.

- Create and enforce strict traffic control and penalize violators.

- Promote an e-City concept so as to make law enforcements (related but not limited to city tax defaulters, traffic violators, illegal building, city crimes, and etc.) effective and fair.

- Control vehicle ownership so that the city does not become a dump-yard of cheap vehicles from India, China and Korea.

- Spend heavily on city schooling (K-12).

- Take care of the homeless and get rid of the slums before they become like slums in Mumbai.

- Clean rivers (if there are any) flowing though the cities.

- Create Public Parks and public hang-out areas.

- Plan a beautiful golf resort in the suburbs as the world’s baby boomers are taking golf as one of their must do retirement activities.

2. Build Highways – We should simply build them without worrying about any return. Building highways for a nation is just like buying a house for a family. The value of houses is always going up. A family which invests in housing can’t go wrong. Similarly, a nation which builds highways can never go wrong. No matter how many we build, they can never be enough. This will help us create jobs because we can employ millions of poor Nepalese people during the construction and promote internal commerce and tourism after construction. Only through our highways can we show our external tourists our hidden treasures like the Rara Lake and Everest Base Camp. Very few in the world have the time and energy to trek to those areas. When it comes to making money, we have to think of the rich people who do not want to hike and walk, but still want to see our fascinating sights. Those few environmentalists and philanthropists who prefer to walk can’t help us get there. We should build so many highways that the world should wonder how we managed to accomplish such a feat. People want to come to our country to see the success – not the poverty. If poverty attracted tourism, why would so many tourists go to Hawaii and not Africa? Let us not dream of making money by showing our bare feet and hungry faces.

3. Build a lot of schools, colleges and universities –This move can never hurt either. We can never go wrong investing on education. This is a no-brainer. We do not need expatriate coming to our county and telling us what to do on education. Let us just build more colleges and schools than we think of. It will pay off. More institutions like the Institute of Engineering and Teaching Hospital should be built to let poor talented Nepalese get free education. Those engineers and doctors can go anywhere in the world and earn their living and send money to Nepal, or work in the country itself. In the past, the countries which invested in public education have never regretted.

If our politicians focus on these three things for the next 10 years, they can help the nation in a big way. If we do not know where to invest and what to do, we must do one of these three things and we will not regret as a nation. Investment on other basic need related things must be made as democratically elected government will have certain responsibility that they can’t get away without providing things like drinking water, basic healthcare and food. If we keep on investing all we have on these day-to-day needs, we can never prosper as a nation. We have to run our nation just like a family head run his/her kitchen. A smart family head controls what is cooked in the kitchen and invests some of his/her incomes on important stuffs like buying house, land and sending kids to a good school. On the other hand, a mediocre family head focuses on day-to-day needs and never worries about the future and all what is earned is consumed right in the kitchen.

A visionary move can’t be pushed forward if a leader is distracted to little things like student elections, little bribe in a tax office, and a small crime in a city center. These things happen everyday in a primitive democracy like ours and they can’t be controlled unless leaders focus on the big picture and drive the economy like a bus driver drives a bus. Remember while there a lot of side talks and even little side fights going on inside the bus, the bus driver drives the bus as if nothing is going on because the driver has a limited time to reach the destination. Similarly, a democratically elected leader does not have a lifetime in the office – it is four to five years at the maximum and a lot needs to be done within that limited time. While trusting their subordinates to do day to day things (just like the bus driver trusts his helper, KANCHHA), leaders must focus on the BIG picture.

Bloggers – as all of you want to see great and successful Nepal, please comment and suggest.

Top three visionary moves for New Nepal was last modified: September 12th, 2013 by Rudra Pandey
 

Blog Comments

  1. DreamSky

    “…If poverty attracted tourism, why would so many tourists go to Hawaii and not Africa? Let us not dream of making money by showing our bare feet and hungry faces….” striking point.

    Post from one and a half years back but still equally relevant. How long will it stay relevant for republic Nepal?
    We still have cows grazing garbage, still have water pollution escalating and we still continue to show our bare feet.
    While these huge economic whirlwind going on at its both sides, why cant Nepal exploit this proximity? May be we quickly forget about load sheddings as soon as the monsoon begins or may be we just ‘wish’ that Nepal will prosper.

  2. AntiGeeta

    Hey Geeta – you are an interesitng creature. I do not know when will you learn to appreciate others. You got opportunity to write comment here becuase Rudra wrote this thought provocative notes. Please appreciate him just for that. Do not expect that one person can do everything. Why don’t YOU go write letters to Prachanda and Girija. Get life Geeta – the Geeta Lover. Your writings sort of says opposite. You rather seem to be Geeta – the Geeta Hater!

  3. Geeta

    Ok – let us say we all agree on your top three visionary moves. Who is going to make sure that the nation moves towards these moves. There are a lot of people like you in the world who form visions, but those who can actually drive these visions can be counted on fingers. It is easy to set goals, but very difficult to achieve. It is easy to say I do KARMA, but very difficult to actually do it. Mr. Pandey come to the field and act then you will know how difficult it is between writing/saying and doing. Please go on lecture parade in Nepal hoping you can convince one of the current leaders who are promising things left and right and fooling 29 million people. Why don’t you write letters to Girija and Prachanda? But, please write in Nepali, they do not understand English.

    Geeta – the Geeta Lover!

  4. thanksanil

    thanks Anil Sharma, for good input. Youth Communist league (YCL), Prachanda’s brothers are showing the same thing in otherwise already peaceful nepal.

  5. Anil Sharma

    @Prachanda’s Aid nice explanation – but this is really incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs

  6. Prachanda's Aid

    I have been reading some of these blogs for a while. Our comrades do not agree to any of these moves. We believe in: 1. killing upper class; 2. fooling middle class ; and 3. making all others slaves. If we do these three, out country will reach to the proximity of Ethiopia and Cambodia.

    Prachanda’s Aid

  7. pawan

    1) Liberal economy.
    2) Direct foreign investment.
    3) Free market.

    These are three things country must follow. If anyone of you think this will take lots of jobs away, then my question would be “when you guys are going to learn when and how to sacrifice for your country?”

  8. Rudra Pandey

    Kulraj – Thanks! I think law and order is the most fundamental requirement. Nothing can happen before we have law and order in the nation. The three moves that I have outlined assume that the law and order is in place. But, I hate to be perfectionist. We should not worry too much on little issues and forget bigger plans for the nation.

    Rudra

  9. kulraj

    Rudra:
    Western societies are enjoying their country’s resources because they have a good system, it does not matter whether they are democratic or socialist, there is a well developed system to run a country and everybody is following that system. If a nation has effective law and order you see all development. Nepal lacks this. Law and order should apply to every citizen of a nation, no matter who they are, it went terribly bad after democracy. I heard that our histories, memories are dismantling by new forces and believers. If this continues how Nepali can present our values and importance to other. One day, Nepal will lose Hawaii tourists. History should be kept alive, either of Lenon or Prithivi Narayan Shah.

    kulraj

  10. Sanjib

    I agree with the latter two moves. Certainly, our leaders should have enough vision to create institutions like IITs and IIMs which will prepare HR needed for our much needed progress.

    Wide roads, express highways will open up the movement and business growth, thus leading to economic prosperity.

    Instead of putting the money in petty projects, our leaders should focus on creating long term, high value infrastructure.

  11. surendra

    Good sharing of experiences and ideas. The main problem is how to get a real leader, planner who seriously think about these and make new generation think on such development. Proper planning of internal resources to optimum level sould be the first step in such movement.

  12. Amar

    Lekhak, it seems like you know what you are talking about. Why don’t you write an article, at least elaborating point no 3 in broad stroke with approximate budget needed. Interesting to see the magnitude of the problem we are facing.

  13. Lekhak

    Very Simple. Things are really not complicated here. Nothing will happen unless until we design infrastructures and we don’t need many of them. Let me put them in bullets here.

    1. Build Sewerage Processing Units.
    It will automatically clean rivers. It costs billions to do it and we are not that rich now.

    2. Build Dumping Sites with Recycling provisions .
    It will automatically clean cities. It costs billions to do it and we are not that rich now.

    3. Build Only One Broad Highway to make a Satellite City.
    We don’t need to build many highways. Just build one to nearby city and properly plan that city. It costs billions to do it and we are not that rich now.

  14. ♥Akriti Panthi♥

    If those goals were met; then Nepal would be just be unbelievable but how much money would we need to fix all this up? More then we will ever have to beable to do all this. But with our top leaders being greedy I just can’t see this happening. But even the smallest thing could make the biggest impacts…….

  15. pawan

    Yeah, lots of schools, road, and so forth. But ground relality is, that need lots of money, and we dont have any. Our only hope is foreign investment. But with so many communist parties there i am not that optimistic.

  16. Amar

    I agree. As you are hooked to highways, electricity is same for me. You cannot go wrong with electricity as well. If there is a surplus you can always imagine about running electrical train, electrical bus etc.
    Nevertheless, please read my artcile on “Why our country is poor” with my recent comment. I appreciate your feedback.

  17. Yestai Ho

    These top three things could work well for Nepal if managed with caution and pateince. Problem with Nepal is on and off. Every five year, nation’s agenda changes and agenda are pretty soft like “reduce poverty level,” “provide health services and employment to all” and etc.

  18. Vishnu Kshettri

    Once I was in Japan, with Japanese friend taking Osake and having the discussion. I was trying to convince them that Nepal and Nepalese are more or less like Japan and you Nihonjin (Japanese). One of them shook his head for disagreement. I asked him please convince me? He simply asked me what are the products of Japan do you Nepalese use in daily lives or desire in Nepal? In addition, what are the products of Nepal that we use in here? I got the message of differences between namable and unnamable.

    If Nepalese leaders would like to be recognized, they need to work for notable that exist in present and future along with the appreciations of next generation and their neighborhood

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