Nepal spent over USD 1 mn to re-measure Mt. Everest’s height: Official

Kathmandu: The Nepalese government spent USD 1.10 million to conduct the arduous surveys prior to determining the height of Mt. Everest, the world’s highest peak, an official said on Wednesday.

Around 80 people were involved in the two years of hard work for re-measuring the height of Sagarmatha, the Nepalese name for Mt. Everest, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Survey Susheel Dangol said.

A team led by Dangol conducted the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) survey of Everest Peak on May 22, 2019.

The Nepalese government spent Rs 130 million (USD 1.10 million) to conduct news surveys prior to determining the height of Mt. Everest, an official said.

Although the field work began as early as February 2018, the survey was carried out in May 2019.

Under this, the GNSS survey was completed by the technical team at a total of 298 points, Dangol said, adding that prior to this, a precise levelling observation of 248 km stretch was completed.

Similarly, Gravity Survey and Triangulation and Trigonometrical levelling have also been completed. The Everest was observed from 12 different stations for the purpose of measurement of the exact height.

This was for the first time that Nepal carried out the survey work for the measurement of the world’s highest peak on its own.

After completing 248 kms of precise levelling survey, the height of datum station at Maadar of Siraha district was connected from Indian datum as part of the technical work.

The team of surveyors conducted a successful summit expedition of Mt Everest on May 22, 2019, he said, adding that the group was led by Chief Survey Officer Khimlal Gautam.

The team was supported by Tshiring Jangbu Sherpa (international mountain guide). The team conducted 1 hour 16 minutes GNSS observation and also conducted the Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey.

After completing the survey by the Nepalese team, the joint processing of the data was carried out in collaboration with the Chinese survey team, which concluded its separate survey from the northern side of Mt. Everest.

The Nepalese team conducted the survey from the southern side of Everest. With the completion of the joint processing work, the actual height of Mt. Everest, that is 8848.86 metres, was jointly announced by Nepal and China on Tuesday.

Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali and Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs announced the new height through video conferencing from Kathmandu and Beijing.

The world’s highest peak is now taller by 86 centimetres, Nepal and China jointly announced on Tuesday after they remeasured Mt. Everest at 8,848.86 metres, over six decades after India conducted the previous measurement in 1954.

The revised height of Mt. Everest puts an end to the decades-long dispute between the two neighbours on the height of the world’s tallest mountain that straddles their shared border.

The exact height of Mt Everest had been contested ever since a group of British surveyors in India declared the height of Peak XV, as it was initially called, to be 8,778 metres in 1847.

Mt. Everest stands on the border between China and Nepal and mountaineers climb it from both the sides. Mt. Everest is known as Sagarmatha in Nepal while in China it is called Mt. Qomolangma, the Tibetan name for the world’s highest peak.