Lack of proper budget, manpower staggering Everest’s measurement

Mt. Everest height, file photo.
Mt. Everest height, file photo.

KATHMANDU, Nepal- Nepal’s attempt to independently measure the height of Mt. Everest is staggering due to the lack of proper budget and manpower as well as resources, survey officers at Geodetic Survey Branch under the Department of Survey said.

The government of Nepal was pepped up to measure the height of Mt. Everest two years ago. However, the initiation was interrupted since the programme could not reach to the Department, though it succeeded to catch the attention of  some of the officials at the Ministry of Land Reform and Management (MoLRM) through a programme for 2011/12. The government ignored the allotment of the budget and programme for the measurement of the peak in 2012/13. Likewise, the government failed to allocate require amount of budget for measuring the peak through the fiscal year 2013/14 budget speech.

An official at the Geodetic Survey Branch told to Nepal Mountain Focus that the government failed to measure world’s highest peak citing the lack of budget though the multinational celebrated company desired to do so. ‘Uncertainty is still looming regarding to measure the height of Everest’, the official told on condition of anonymity.

According to him there are many technical difficulties to assess the mountain since the peak should have to measure within thirty minutes. ‘We lack require equipment as well as skilled manpower, but only a dream to scale the height,’ he told. He also informed that measurement of Everest now has been included in 20 years long-term planning.

According to him, a MoU has been made between a renowned Italian research agency Ev- K2-Cnr and Geodetic Survey Branch to study about Mt. Everest. Ev K2Cnr, a non-profit agency has set up a Pyramid Laboratory in Loboche at the height of 5050 meter and studying about the world’s tallest peak since two and half decade. ‘The measurement of Everest may also be included in the MoU between two parties’, he further told.

In the meantime, Director General of  Department of Survey Nagendra Jha informed that the government had allocated the budget for the measurement of height of Everest in the past, but the process is floundering regarding to provide the facility for the staffs deployed in the measurement process. ‘The process to measure the Everest is staggering due to the dispute over the allotment of the budget for the staffs deployed in measurement task’, he told to Nepal Mountain Focus.

The height of Everest has been disputed ever since the first measurement was held in 1856 with the universally accepted height of 8,848 meter by an Indian survey.

Nevertheless, in 1999, an American used GPS technology and recorded a height of 8,850 meters; however, Nepal ruled out the new height and decided to give continuity to the older one.

Nepal is seeking international support to settle the dispute over the height of the Peak with the China, eight year back claimed that Everest was nearly 4 meter shorter than Nepal’s official figure and it must be counted up to the rock surface.

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