KATHMADU, Feb 9: In order to measure the height of Mt Everest on their own for the first time ever in Nepal's survey history, a team of surveyors will soon leave for Mirchaiya of Siraha district.
The team comprising 16 members led by a chief survey officer has been readied to collect details of the leveling survey. They will begin works based on previously used leveling points soon after reaching Mirchaiya. Ganesh Prasad Bhatta, director general of the Department of Survey, has already cleared all administrative procedures required for the measurement of the height of the world's tallest mountain.
“Surveyors will leave for the field on Saturday as we are yet to settle some logistical preparations,” said Susheel Dangol, chief survey officer at the DoS, adding, “The surveyors will set up temporary camps along the survey route and the measurement work will begin next week.”
Chief survey officer Dangol said a few surveyors will be deployed to the field in the first lot. Their number, however, will be increased once the measurement process gains momentum.
Mirchaiya is Nepal's border with India in Siraha district. Being a landlocked country, Nepal has no access to sea. So, it plans to begin the measurement from the border point. Later, it will request India to provide leveling data to its last border while computing the final data.
Surveyors plan to measure a distance of 0.75 kilometer each day and complete the leveling survey to Solukhumbu by June. The measurement process is expected to complete within two years. “Once the leveling survey up to Everest Base Camp completes, the surveyors will collect global positioning system data and gravity data using GPS receivers.
High-altitude Sherpas are being trained to deal with the GPS receivers and other equipment as ordinary surveyors cannot summit Mt Everest in extreme cold.
Nepal is measuring Mt Everest on its own for the first time following rumors of the height of the world's tallest mountain (8848 meter) decreasing in the aftermath of 2015's devastating earthquake. The government has already allocated Rs 20 million for the task. It is estimated that it will cost Rs 250 million to complete the expedition.
Mt Everest was first measured by an Indian team led by Sir George Everest in 1852. Since then, surveyors from China, Italy, Denmark and the US measured Mt Everest but Nepali surveyors were never included in these expeditions.