Mountaineer Kalpana’s Death: Activist Moves Nepal Human Rights Body To Probe Overcrowding At Everest

25 May 2019


Bhubaneswar: A social activist on Saturday moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of Nepal, seeking a thorough probe into the death of mountaineer Kalpana Dash and other climbers on Mount Everest in this spring season.

 “The NHRC of Nepal should take cognizance in the matter and direct authorities to probe in which circumstances Kalpana and other mountaineers died on Mt Everest. It is due to mismanagement by authorities and allowing for overcrowding of climbers”, alleged the petitioner Akhand, a member of Civil Society Forum on Human Rights at Bhubaneswar.

49 year old climber Kalpana Dash died above the balcony area on Mt Everest on 23rd May afternoon while descending from the summit point. Kalpana along with Kanchhi Maya Tamang from Nepal and Liyamu Ma from China made it to the summit of Mt Everest at around 12:55 pm. Dash, who fell ill and asphyxiated on the descent, died near the balcony area.

Akhand alleged, due to mismanagement and overcrowding of climbers in mountain, at least 14 climbers have died. According to the reports, five deaths happened on Mt Everest, three each on Mt Kanchenjunga and Mt Makalu as well as one each on Mt Lhotse, Mt Annapurna and Mt Cho Oyu. Death toll in this week is at least seven - more than the total for the whole of last year, the petition mentions.

Akhand stated, the government of Nepal this year has handed out 378 permits, topping the previous record of 373 in 2017. Climbers are assisted by Nepali guides. This could mean that about 750 climbers will be attempting to scale the mountain at the same time in May when the weather is expected to be favorable.

“It comes amid traffic jams near the summit as record numbers make the ascent, despite calls to limit the number of climbing permits. There are two rows of climbers. Because there is only one fixed rope at the summit, climbers ascending and descending the summit all have to share the same rope”, the petitioner said.

Akhand demanded before NHRC through a online complaint that, “Death of Kalpana and other climbers should be investigated. One of the prime reasons of deaths is overcrowding of climbers in Mountain Area. Authorities must be accountable for it.”