Stakeholders ignore govt’s search and rescue guideline

Kathmandu, December 14

Stakeholders have been found to be ignoring the Tourist Search, Rescue, Medication and Monitoring Guidelines-2018 implemented by the Department of Tourism (DoT).

Aiming to ensure security of tourists, DoT had implemented the aforementioned guideline last year and directed the trekking agencies, airline operators and chopper companies, hospitals and medical pharmacies to submit the details related with tourist search, rescue and medication to the department.

However, no agency or other institutions have yet submitted the details to DoT even after the close of the autumn tourist season this year.

As per the guideline, concerned authorities are obliged to submit all the details (including minor situations) to DoT within 15 days after the climbing season concludes.

Likewise, according to Article 9 of the guideline, any person, agency or company involved in search, rescue and treatment should provide the details with original invoice of all the cost incurred during such missions to the concerned agency for payment. And such details are supposed to be submitted to the DoT within one month after the season concludes.

However, the department has not received any detail from any concerned authority regarding the autumn season expeditions (September, October and November). Hence, the DoT published a notice on Friday directing the agencies and companies involved in search, rescue and medication to submit all the details at DoT within seven days.

“The department will take action against any company that ignores the given deadline and does not provide the factual information within seven days,” reads the notice.

After the fake rescue scam was revealed in the mountaineering sector of the country, DoT in association with the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation had implemented the guideline to regulate search, rescue and medication activities.

This autumn season, DoT had issued expedition permits to a total of 165 teams that comprised of a total of 1,210 members. The expedition permits had been issued for 53 peaks of the country.