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Govt team to visit Everest base camp to woo Sherpas

  

AFP/RSS

The avalanche that killed at least 13 Sherpas is pictured as it barrels down a mountain in the Mount Everest region on Friday.

THT ONLINE

"It is raining in the Khumbu region today afternoon"

KATHMANDU: The government today decided to send a high-level team, led by a senior official, to the Everest base camp as soon as possible to convince the protesting Sherpas to resume the suspended climbing activities.

Notwithstanding the government announcement to meet their demands regarding welfare and relief in the wake of fatal avalanche in the Mount Everest, the mountaineering support staff and guides are still divided over whether to resume the halted expeditions.

Unconvinced by the government commitments 'made in Kathmandu', some of them had demanded that the officials visited the base camp to meet them.

The high-level team, comprising of representatives of different stakeholders and led by a government official, will visit the base camp and hold talks with the Sherpas as soon as possible, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation told THT Online today.

Yesterday, the Ministry had announced an increment in insurance for Sherpas and provision of money to a proposed moutnaineering relief fund.

READ ALSO: Discovery to chronicle Everest avalanche

Cancelling expedition

Meanwhile, it has been learnt that most of the foreign teams that lost their support staff in the April 18 avalanche are preparing to announce cancelment of their expedition and return to Kathmandu.

Dead bodies of 13 Sherpas were recovered from the incident site at an elevation of 5900 metres near the Khumbu Icefall, while three others are still missing on the snow-clad and treacherous slope of Mount Everest.

The climbing activities have been stalled after the tragedy.

READ ALSO: Sherpas leave Everest; some expeditions nix climbs

Rainfall

It is raining in the Khumbu region today afternoon, according to Lamakaji Sherpa, general secretary of Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee.

Most of the Foreign climbers and Sherpas have gathered at the base camp and Khumbu region, either waiting for the resumption of climbing activities or taking time to decide whether to formally cancel their expeditions.

READ ALSO: Has Everest avalanche discouraged tourists?

Govt to reconsider

After holding a meeting with the stakeholders today, the Tourism Ministry has decided to reconsider its stance on not to let helicopters land above the base cam.

Yesterday, the Ministry had said that it would stuck to the provision that except for rescue operations the helicopters would not be allowed above base camp.

Also, today's meeting decided to hold discussion on the demands to set up heavy equipment at Camp II later.

An appropriate decision would be made considering the issues of sanitation and environment impact assessment, Burlakoti informed.

(With inputs from Rajan Pokhrel)

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