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Gov’t sets up contact office at Mount Everest base camp

KATHMANDU: Government has finally set up a contact office at Mount Everest base camp over the last weekend, officials said.

This is the first venture of its kind in Nepal in a bid to make Nepal’s mountaineering more safe and organized.

“The contact office has now come to existence since last Friday,” Madhusudan Burlakoti, a high level official at Tourism Ministry told Media on Saturday.

He however said the office will come to operation once it is formally inaugurated which has been postponed until the weather around the base camp turns fine.

“We have prepared physical office house and have deployed five personnel including an army man, a government liaison officer, a medical doctor and support staff including others,” Burlakoti said.

“We have also set up required technological systems including computer, satellite phone, email, internet and mobile phones,” he added.

The ministry had previously announced to set up such office aiming at bringing it into operation from the coming May.

“Due to the growing pressure and chaos at the Everest of late, we felt the contact office should be set up at the highest peak instantly,” Madhusudan Sapkota, spokesperson at the ministry said by phone, adding similar offices will be established gradually at mountains of Manasalu, Amadublam and Annapurna within the next year.

The fully facilitated office will inform about the mountaineering activities, incidents and accidents, records and others directly to the ministry.

With the rising number of safety concerns, both mountaineers and entrepreneurs have been long demanding that the government establish such office through which they could contact directly the concerned authorities.

Meanwhile, 300 mountaineers from 41 countries have so far received approval from the Tourism Ministry to scale up Everest this coming spring.

According to the ministry figure, around 450 submitters, both Nepalis and foreigners, have been scaling the world’s highest peak every year. The figure further said that Mount Everest base camp has been climbed by more than 4,000 individuals since the 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa.

Published Date: Sunday, April 13th, 2014 | 12:48 PM

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