By Deepak Adhikari
Its name is synonymous with the country in which much it lies, but Nepalese pride in Mount Everest is dented by the country’s failure to ever measure the world’s tallest peak.
However, following an Indian announcement earlier this year that it intended to re-measure the summit, pressure is growing in Nepal for the government to take charge.
“It’s the government’s responsibility to make sure that its citizens feel good about their country,” Ganesh Prasad Bhatta, director general of the Department of Survey, told Anadolu Agency.
“We need to let them feel that government invests in knowledge about its natural resources.”
The height of the mountain, which straddles the border of Nepal and China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, is widely recognized as 8,848 meters (29,029 feet) above sea level -- as measured by an Indian survey team in 1954.
Earlier this year, India said it would re-survey the mountain amid suggestions its height may have been altered by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal in April 2015.
The announcement led to a flurry to comment in Nepalese media on the government’s perceived inability to survey the mountain, which generates revenue of around $3 billion a year from foreign climbers.
Bhatta said the government had planned to measure Everest, which lies in the Mahalangur range of the Himalayas, three years ago but the effort was cancelled due to funding problems.
However, this time the government has committed to the task, he added.
The Department of Survey is fine-tuning its methodology and organising an international conference in Kathmandu to discuss the project, which is scheduled to begin in mid-November, Bhatta said.
An expedition of four Sherpa climbers carrying GPS and other equipment is likely to set off in the climbing season between April and May or in autumn, he added.
Bhatta said international monitors were being contacted because “we need to have a team of international experts recognize our measurement.”
Everest, previously known as Peak XV, was identified as world’s tallest mountain by a British, Indian and Nepalese team of surveyors in 1852.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.