Nepal | August 14, 2020

Makalu Adventure fined USD 4,000 for Everest summit fraud

Rajan Pokhrel
Share Now:
  • Climbing Sherpas reveal Indian police couple never reached above 6,000 m

KATHMANDU: More than five months after Nepal imposed a 10-year mountaineering ban on the Indian police couple for faking Mt Everest summit photos, the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has penalised the expedition handling agency for assisting the climbers to obtain their summit certificates.

DoT’s Director General Jaya Narayan Acharya told THT Online that Makalu Adventure, the trekking agency which ran the Everest expedition for Dinesh Chandrakant Rathod and his wife Tarkeshwari Chandrakant Bhelerao of Maharashtra, India, in the last spring, has been fined USD 4,000 for helping the police couple obtain summit certificates by submitting all fake claims to the DoT.

According to Nepal’s Tourism Act, if any agency making arrangements for mountaineering violated any provisions of the Act or Rules made thereunder or instigated others to violate them then the government might penalise it either with a ban for up to five years, a fine between Rs 5,000 and Rs 25,000 or with both.

“DoT has decided to seize USD 4,000 that Makalu Adventure deposited under the garbage collection head to run the expedition after recording statements from two Sherpas – Furba and Fursemba – who were assigned to guide the couple on Mt Everest,” Acharya said. According to him, Sherpa duo have furnished a written statement jointly at DoT a few days ago revealing that the Rathod couple had not reached above 6,000 m on Mt Everest in the last spring season.

The Rathods had obtained certificates from the DoT on June 10 by submitting morphed pictures that showed themselves on the roof of the world on May 23, 2016 with Liaison Officer Ganesh Prasad Timsina and Makalu Adventure approving their claims. The Sherpa guides, on the other hand, had remained out of contact at the time the couple’s claims were questioned.

“We were also present during a press conference organised by Makalu Adventure to announce Rathods’ ‘victory on Mt Everest’ in the first week of June,” the climbing Sherpas stated, claiming that they, however, were not aware about the motive behind the same.”

Earlier, the expedition organising company had admitted in its clarification that the photos were morphed, but it blamed the climbing Sherpas for the goof.

The photos submitted by the Rathod couple to the DoT as proofs were found faked after Satyarup Siddhanta, a climber from Bangalore, accused the police couple of plagiarising his summit photos taken while he scaled the 8,848-metre mountain on May 21.

According to DoT, its move against the handling agency would be a warning call to others to safeguard the norms and ethics of the mountain climbing.

Though the DoT has failed to take action against Liaison Officer Timsina, who endorsed the fake claim, saying he was at the Everest Base Camp for 13 days to facilitate the Rathod couple, Parliament’s International Relations and Labour Committee has sought the details of LOs who were deputed to different mountains in the last three years.

The committee would study the effectiveness of LOs after getting details from DoT.

As per the Tourism Act, the ministry may cancel travel order and may cause to return the facilities received as per the Regulation by the LO, if he/she does not accompany with the mountaineering expedition team.

“Intensive discussions are still underway to revise the existing Tourism Act and Mountaineering Regulation to rectify the loopholes,” Acharya said.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Pandemic and State: How is state accountable?

COVID-19 Global Lens The COVID-19 pandemic presents the world with a huge challenge: everyone and every area is affected, and the response has to be both quick and consorted. This pandemic may be primarily a health crisis for some states, but COVID-19 is also an education crisis, an employment an Read More...

Kailali witnessing gradual loss of forests

GODAVARI, AUGUST 12 Forests are shrinking every year in Kailali due to increasing encroachment. The under-construction Rani-Jamara-Kulariya Irrigation Project, Khutiya-Dipayal Fast Track, Seti Highway and Postal Highway have contributed to loss of forests in the district. Deforestation in Bhaw Read More...

Female inmates of Nepalgunj prison sent to Bardiya and Dailekh

NEPALGUNJ, AUGUST 12 Following the confirmation of COVID-19 in some inmates, Nepalgunj prison administration in Banke has shifted its female inmates to other districts. At a time when concerns are being heard about the number of inmates exceeding the capacity of the prison, the prison administ Read More...

‘Manage uranium mines properly’

MYAGDI, AUGUST 12 Experts have drawn the government’s attention to lack of seriousness in managing uranium deposits discovered in different regions, including in Mustang and Chure. At a virtual interaction ‘Nuclear science and society’ organised by Nepal Russian Science Society in coordi Read More...

Kanye West met with Kushner as rapper eyes 2020 election spot

WASHINGTON: Entertainer and Trump supporter Kanye West recently met with White House adviser and the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, a source familiar with the meeting said on Wednesday as the entertainer pursues his efforts to appear on the presidential ballot this November. The New York Read More...

New Zealand scrambles contain coronavirus resurgence as it heads toward election

NZ outbreak puts pressure on Ardern ahead of election Ardern sticks by "go hard, go early" approach Extended lockdown measures to impact economy More cases reported at refrigeration storage company Opposition party wants election postponed WELLINGTON: New Zealand was scrambling to Read More...

Great Perseid meteor shower is here but will the weather play a spoilsport?

KATHMANDU: Not only did the weather play a spoilsport during the great celestial show, as Perseid meteor showers were on peak, this year the moon phase (last quarter) too hindered enthusiasts from enjoying it as it impeded view of the shower peak. Considered one of the best meteor showers of the Read More...

China high-speed rail

China plans to expand railway network to 200,000 km before 2035

BEIJING: China plans to expand its railway network, the second largest in the world, by one-third in the next decade and a half, as part of a long-term plan to rev up urbanisation and stimulate local economies. China aims to have about 200,000 kilometres (124,274 miles) of railway tracks by the e Read More...