Kathmandu, September 20
The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) has completed all the preparations to provide skill training to government officials who accompany climbers on their expeditions as liaison officers.
After receiving several complaints related to liaison officers, a meeting held on September 1 had decided to provide skill training to such government officers.
As per the decision taken during the meeting, the one-month training for liaison officers will commence from Sunday under the supervision of Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management (NATHM).
According to NATHM, non-gazetted first-class officers and gazetted second-class officers of the civil services are going to take part in this training. Likewise, an officer of Nepali Army, Nepal Police or Armed Police Force who is a gazetted third-class officer will also participate in this training. Government officers who have successfully scaled Mt Everest can also participate in the training.
Although the Mountaineering Expedition Rules 2002 has mentioned a few requirements for liaison officers, the rules have often been neglected while selecting the officers. As per the rule, a liaison officer must have basic training related to mountaineering expedition and must have at least a Bachelor’s degree. The liaison officer must also be certified of their English language proficiency by a recognised institution. The rule also states that knowledge of another language besides English would be an added incentive.
Prior to this, the ministry had formed a study committee to study the problems and challenges of the mountaineering sector after receiving numerous complaints about the liaison officers deployed for different expedition teams this spring season. During that time, the study committee had recommended MoCTCA to take strict action against the liaison officers who had breached the regulations.
Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai then had taken a decision to regulate the liaison officers and scrap the licence of officers who are found breaking the rules.
A version of this article appears in print on September 21, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.