Indian team leaves Namche for Everest expedition

KATHMANDU: An 11-member Indian Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Everest expedition team has left Namche Bazaar on Friday to scale the Mt Everest.

The ONGC, a public enterprise under the Indian government, had selected 11 members out of over 150 aspirants for the Herculean task, the Kathmandu-based Embassy of India said in a statement today.

The team was selected and trained over a course of 15 months for the mission to materialise.

In October 2015, a 21-member ONGC team had successfully completed the trek to Everest Base Camp (17,000 ft), which eventually became the progenitor for the present expedition.

"With a workforce of 33,000," the ONGC embarked on this task "to prepare a team of youngsters who had little or no formal knowledge or skills in mountaineering craft to attempt scale the highest peak on the Earth," the statement read.

At a special ceremony held in New Delhi on March 28, the Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan had flagged off the ONGC Everest Expedition team.