KATHMANDU, March 25: Around 700 high altitude workers are set to receive certificate of mountaineering expedition, as has been mentioned in the citizen charter of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.
The ministry’s charter follows a recent cabinet decision to amend the Mountaineering Expedition Rule 2002.
The high altitude workers were deprived of mountaineering certificate since 2015.
Maya Sherpa, second vice president of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) and also a mountain guide, said that around 700 mountain guides are likely to receive mountaineering certificate as per the new development. The development has highly encouraged the workers, according to Sherpa.
Following amendment in Rule 33 of Mountaineering Expedition Regulation 2002, the ministry has announced to provide mountaineering certificates to Sirdar, mountain guide, high altitude workers in format as prescribe in Schedule-14.
“Indeed this is an important step of the government for the welfare of high altitude workers,” Sherpa said. “It not only helps to keep record of their work but also encourages them on their work.”
She further said that even though the certificate was just a sheet of paper, it could bring more opportunities in the life of mountain guides. “The mountaineering certificate is their right and now they are getting it,” she added.
The proposal of Department of Tourism (DoT) to provide certificate of mountaineering expedition to the high altitude workers was awaiting cabinet approval for the last eight months.
“Mountaineering Expedition Rules 2002 did not consider high-altitude workers as a part of the expedition,” Sherpa said, “Sirdar (group leader), mountain guide, high altitude workers and officials who do not pay royalty but climb the mountains were deprived of certificates.”
According to official data, certificates were issued to the mountain workers until 2015. But after that the Department of Tourism (DoT) stopped providing certificate citing lack of written rule about it. Since then all the high altitude workers were demanding their right to get mountaineering certificate.
“We had proposed the ministry to provide certificates to those workers who were deprived of certificates since 2015,” said Dinesh Bhattarai, director general of DoT. “As it has now been written in the ministry’s citizen charter, the DoT will distribute certificates to them as well.”
“The high altitude workers have to produce a verification letter claiming the date and details of the mountain they have climbed,” said Humnath Pandey, section officer at the
Mountaineering Section of DoT. “Verifying their details, we will provide the certificate as per their role during the expedition.”