Everest avalanche: Govt forms committee to address demands

- Ekantipur Report, KATHMANDU
Everest avalanche: Govt forms committee to address demands

Apr 21, 2014-

The government on Monday formed a committee to address the demands put forth by various expedition and guide associations in the wake of Friday's fatal avalanche in the Everest Base Camp which claimed lives of 16 high-altitude mountain guides and injured nine others.

Various associations had on Sunday demanded establishment of mountaineers' welfare trust, increasing insurance premium of climbers, ensuring education for the victim's children, among others. They had given a seven-day ultimatum to the government to address the same.

The committee headed by Madhu Sudan Burlakoti, Chief of Industry Division of the Tourism Ministry, comprises representatives from Nepal Mountaineering Association, Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal, Expedition Operators Association, Nepal National Mountain Guide Association, Himalayan Rescue Association, among others.

The committee after discussing on the demands will submit its report to the government on Tuesday. Necessary action regarding the matter will be taken once the committee submits its report, according to the Tourism Ministry's press statement issued today.

Meanwhile, the government in association with various mountaineering stakeholders has decided to construct a monument in memory of the deceased high-altitudes guides who were perished by the avalanche.

Earlier in the day, the Tourism Ministry had appealed the high-altitude Sherpa guides and support staffs to continue the Everest expedition.

Issuing a press statement, the ministry said that the government is committed to undertake major reforms in the mountaineering sector by holding discussion with concerned stakeholders.

The ministry said many people in the world have large interest for climbing Everest and the government would accord high priority to make its safer, reliable and attractive in the coming days.

The ministry said that through a  ministry-level meeting on May 29, 2013, the insurance coverage amounts of policies covering mountain guides, high-altitude workers and porters, liaison officers, search and rescue officials and workers of mountain base camps, effective from January 1, 2014.

As per the revised policy, personal accident insurance and workers compensation insurance of the Sirdar or the mountain guide has been doubled to a minimum Rs 1 million from Rs 500,000.

For high-altitude workers, the insurance coverage has been raised to Rs 1 million from Rs 400,000. Insurance coverage for workers of base camps and local porters has been raised by 128 percent to Rs 800,000 and 100 percent to Rs 500,000, respectively. The medical insurance coverage amount for these workers has been raised by 500 percent to Rs 300,000 per person.

On Sunday, mountaineering and guide agencies decided to suspend all climbing activities for the next seven days. Declaring this year as ‘Black Everest year’, they are unsure whether to continue with Everest expeditions this season.



Published: 21-04-2014 14:23

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