Kathmandu: For the first time, Nepal will remeasure the height of the Mount Everest on its own, amid reports that the height of the world’s highest peak has changed after the deadly 2015 earthquake in the Himalayan nation.
The height of the peak was last recorded at 8,848 metres in 1955, by an Indian survey.
“The Department of Survey, government of Nepal will remeasure the height of Everest very soon,” said Deputy Director General of the Department Neeraj Manandhar, who is directly involved in the task of conducting the survey.
“There are reports that changes are noticed in the height of Everest due to the recent earthquakes. We are conducting the survey on our own,” he said.
The department is currently working on preparing infrastructure such as acquiring equipment for the survey, he told PTI.
After the necessary infrastructure becomes ready the survey work will begin within the current fiscal year, he said.
Various international experts have claimed that the height of Everest has changed over time. The US and Chinese teams have mentioned different heights, sparking controversy. This has necessitated the task of remeasuring so as to ascertain the correct height, Manandhar said.
In 2005, the Chinese team concluded that the height of Everest is 8,844 metres, on the basis of the rock without taking into account the snow covering the mountain peak. However, the Nepal government has included snow in the measurement.
Another important reason for remeasuring was to know if the devastating earthquake of April 2015 made any significant change in the height, Manandhar said.
“The Department of Survey possesses all the technical know-how for measuring the height of the mountain and we will bear the cost on our own,” he said.
The department has estimated a time period of two years’ for completing the survey and a budget of 250 million Nepalese rupees (Dh8.86 million) has been allocated for the purpose.
“Nepal has not measured the height of Everest on its own and this time we are doing so,” he added.
The base of measuring the height will be Indian mean sea level, he said.