Pokhara – the city of monopoly and hidden glitches
This is it finally. Never wanted to write about this. Never wanted to let people outside Pokhara know that this is the city of monopoly after all they all know Pokhara the famous tourist destination in spite of other backside stories. Only those surviving and typical of this small unplanned, unmanaged and pathetic city dwellers could find few drops of choices in many aspects.
This is totally what I mean by- my personal feeling of inside Pokhara. (Updated: July 2012 after re-experiencing)
Syndication, privatization and monopolistic approach of all private sectors. After all, unawared public…
Ever thought how much a per hour internet of 28kbps costs in Pokhara? No matter which cyber cafe you go, it’s the same Rs 30. They got a cyber cafe owners organization which will determine works like letting other to open cafe or not, how much to charge (during loadshedding and regular hour),— seems like there is no government in Nepal, huh and ….. Just a few FewaNet, WLink, BuddhaNet and Pokhara i-Net, (not talking NTC, Mero mobile and UTL the nameshake wireless net) are local ISPs in Pokhara which have nodal points in Kathmandu to broadcast here. The cost is devastatingly high. General people can’t purchase, even if they purchase they get bandwidth of frustrations (yes, absolutely my point and my experience). >> Read this comedy piece about ADSL in Pokhara.
Updates:Today (2012 July 29) I’m still upset with the speed of internet we get in cyber cafes, many of them in the downtown are nameshake broadband (even skype is problematic, and YouTube wouldn’t been able to play if there was no cache servers set up by Google the previous year.) However, the internet speed in cafes in Lakeside is not-surprisingly that slow – tourists need it for 1$/hr rate atleast.
Cable TV Monopoly
Can you believe no two cable operators exist in Pokhara? You can’t open another Cable operation in Pokhara. Even if you, you’ll get merged sooner or later. Hence, the obvious monopoly. You must pay increased lumsum amount to these elephants for just 35 or few more channels (and repeatingly list goes to 65 around). And this is true for many years, till now, till today – Pokhara wants true HD Cable TV with Broadband internet with it.
Public Transport/Vehicle Monopoly
You can’t buy new vehicle and queue it to new route as permitted by local government and police. There are very strong (yes, stronger than another force in this country) force of taxi drivers, bus drivers, helpers and so on. The older the vehicle, the more expensive it becomes. A micro-bus purchased 5 years before for 18 lakhs now costs 37lacks here (my friend always boosts of this, ‘coz he got an-eight year old microbus.) What do you say? Do you wanna do vehicle/transportation business in Pokhara?
Not much I can say about this personally, I got no experience of booking hotels much. But for the few cases, I had to, I had a bitter experience. Read in the newspaper the other day, the minimum room rent in Pokhara was compulsioned at NRs 500/day irrespective of the standards and services. One of my MR (Medical Representative) friends usually books a hotel room in Lakeside for NRs 800/day – all he gets in that room is a single BED with 14 inch CRT TV set with no basic amenities(when I was there on one July 2012 day, I found no soaps, towels and water bottles at all, maybe REBAN/HAN decides that.)
Phewa/Begnas Lake Boating Monopoly
This is a self understood monopolistic and depressant joy every domestic tourists experience in Pokhara (for int’l tourists, they are treated separately with luxury!) Next time you go to Fewa Lake, try asking for the best looking boat to go around the lake.
Parking Lot Monopoly
Far better experience than in Kathmandu. And this monopoly is not usually a headache because one parking ticket/slip works for the whole day in the valley of Pokhara (ain’t it something Kathmanduties should feel itchy about?) However, paying 10-20 bucks per hour and parking entirely at your own risk is somewhat pathetic. What are we paying for? We are idiots obviously.
- And … monopoly of monopoly (from user’s comments below)
Nepal is always the same. Only business persons get benefited and common people are always victimized.
Always those so called private sectors come in between the governmental facilities… but Lakeside is economic monopoly area…
More on this later….. had a bitter experience with this article (‘coz this article was copy-pasted/content pirated in more than 14 websites/blogs in online, so I had to update it to ensure this is the original article)
>> Don’t get scared reading the bad about Pokhara, it is paradise instead – there are hundred good points for every one bad I pointed out above. Explore goodness of Pokhara here.