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Mountaineering liaison officers who played truant last year to lose job

Everest-Base-Camp-TentsKathmandu, February 24

The government is preparing a list of the liaison officers who will be deployed on various mountains including Everest for the coming spring.

The Department of Tourism says the officers who were appointed as liaison officers in 2019 but did not go to their respective workplaces will be removed from the list.

“We are listing the liaison officers to be deployed in the mountain regions,” says Mira Acharya, a director of the department. “But the ones who did not go to the places they were deployed to will not get the opportunity.”

The department had appointed 91 liaison officers in the spring of 2019, out of which 37 were deployed on Everest. Reportedly, only 22 of them went to the base camp.

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has directed the department to demand clarifications from these officers and to bar these personnel from being the liaison officer for one year, according to Dandu Raj Ghimire, an executive director at the department. The ministry had issued a similar directive last September also.

Who are the liaison officers?

There is a provision for each mountaineering group at altitudes above 6500 metres that they are monitored by a liaison officer. The roles of such officers are to report every activity of the group to the government and to mediate for the problems faced by groups.

The mountaineering groups are supposed to pay for the services, insurance, medical expenses and rescue of the liaison officers. As such officers earn handsome money in a short span from the government and the climbers, it has been a lucrative opportunity for the government employees. However, owing to various difficulties, many play truant frequently.

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