18 May 2019
The bodies lying at Mt. Everest would be collected only after the end of this season’s Everest expedition, officials from Nepal said on Friday.
The bodies which have been traced by the squad of joint Mt Everest Clean-up Campaign supported by Nepal government and Nepal Mountaineering Association would not be picked immediately, said Dundu Raj Ghimire, Director General at the Department of Tourism.
Ghimire made this remark while speaking at a press conference organised to inform about the status of solid wastes collected from Mt. Everest from April 14, 2019. The 45-day solid waste collection campaign would come to its end on May 27.
“We have not given much priority to collect the bodies during our solid waste collection campaign. We have pushed back the task of body collection as our members will start collecting bodies only after the end of Mt Everest expedition season for this year,” Ghimire said.
“We could not say immediately how many bodies are there on Everest but obviously our Sherpas have found some bodies, which are still in good shape, like mummies, and some skeletons,” he said.
Kul Bahadur Gurung, general secretary of Nepal Mountaineering Association, said that the body collection task was in the least priory of the team of the Sherpas.
From the religious point of view, it is not considered good to touch a body while carrying out an auspicious task, he added.
“Twelve Sherpas have constantly been engaged in garbage collection task, especially at Camp-3 and 4,” Ghimire said.
There are joint members involved from Nepali Army, NMA and others in camp number 1 and 2 to collect the garbage, Ghimire said.
Meanwhile, officials said that the members had so far collected over 4 tonnes of solid waste from the Base Camp up to South Col. The the sharp-edged South Col lies between Everest and Lhotse at an elevation of 7,906 m.
According to Ghimire, the collected solid waste would be put into display by organising exhibition on May 27, two days before Mt. Everest Day which is marked on Jetha 15 (May 29) every year.
Ghimire said that it would cost around Rs. 20.32 million to complete the solid waste collection campaign for this year. He said the government would conduct the campaign every year under the joint support of the private sectors and sponsors, he said.
The Nepali Army has deployed over hundreds of its forces along with Sherpas to collect the garbage by providing two helicopters for carrying the garbage, said Brigadier General and spokesperson of Nepali Army Bigyan Dev Pandey.
The collected solid wastes would now be handed over to Blue Waste To Value Pvt Ltd by segregating the recyclable trashes.
Throughout the campaign period, the team has targeted to collect 5,000 kg solid waste from the Base Camp area, 2000 kg from South Col, and around 3000 kg from camp 2 and 3. RSS