KATHMANDU: The government on Tuesday announced an increment in insurance for the Sherpa mountaineering support staff and guides, and made a commitment that certain amount of the royalty collected from the expedition teams will go to a mountaineering relief fund.
Now, each Sherpa will have a life insurance of Rs 15 lakh, which is more than Rs 5 lakh, and health insurance of Rs 4 lakh.
The Tourism Ministry made the announcement today after holding a meeting with the stakeholders in the wake of fatal avalanche in Mt Everest that killed at least 13 Sherpas. Three others are still unaccounted for.
Now, the respective District Development Committees, which get 30 per cent of royalty from mountaineering expeditions, will provide five per cent of the amount they receive to the relief fund.
A guideline will be developed in two months to identify the cases and on how to use the fund.
But the fund will be used for the rehabilitation and capacity development of the injured, to support the family of victims of mountaineering mishaps, and rescue operations.
The Tourism Ministry further said that it will work out to provide more relief to the injured, and immediately pay the amount that insurance did not meet for the use of helicopters during rescue operation.
Also, the Ministry said it will give continuity to the provision that restricts taking helicopters above the Everest base camp without permisson, and except for rescue.
Likewise, the Ministry said all mountaineers are not allowed to dump any material they take during Everest expedition above the base camp.
Meanwhile, the Nepal Mountaineering Association will take up the responsibility to promote the virgin mountains that have been opened for mountaineering, according to today's decision.