PM Oli reopens Nepal's historic quake-hit tower, flouts COVID protocols

ANI
·1-min read
Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma (File Photo)
Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma (File Photo)

Kathmandu [Nepal], April 24 (ANI): Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Saturday inaugurated the new Dharahara tower which was constructed after the old structure collapsed in an earthquake in 2015.

The Dharahara is an iconic tower built by Nepal's first PM Bhimsen Thapa. The total estimated cost of the new Dharahara is Nepali Rs 3.48 billion.

Oli inaugurated the replica of the tower in a ceremony on Saturday where he flouted COVID-19 protocols by taking part in an event with over 100 attendees including ministers and high-level officials despite surging cases of infection in the Himalayan Nation.

This comes after a cabinet meeting chaired by Oli himself earlier this week had introduced new rules which capped the number of people in a gathering to 25.

"Pride of Nepal, identity of Kathmandu as well as Nepal and a site linked to our history. That's why we shouldn't have let it be flattened or destroyed," Oli said in his address to the gathering without wearing a mask.

Request for comment from the concerned authorities over the event held on Saturday went unanswered.

Due to a rise in infection, the government on Monday had decided to close all educational institutions of the nation. It also banned public gatherings, shut down cinema halls, bar, pubs, and recreational sites.

On Saturday, Nepal recorded as many as 2,619 new cases, 368 recoveries, and 14 fatalities related to COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

Oli has been criticised for the turning a blind eye to the pandemic which about to hit the nation. Apart from holding programs in public places, Oli also has continued to hold party meetings at his official residence Baluwatar. (ANI)