KATHMANDU: Nepal government has moved to re-measure the height of Mt Everest that has been contested for over 170 years.
Nepalese researchers will measure the world’s tallest peak to settle controversy after some estimates suggest it has changed in the wake of the 2015 earthquake that killed more than 9,000 people.
A team of Survey Department will be deployed with a global positioning system (GPS) device to the summit of Everest in May.
Under the GPS surveying technique, 12 different observation stations will be selected and each station will track the Everest position at the same time when the GPS transmits the signal from the peak, to get the height, according to the Survey Department.
The department will use surveying technologies from traditional methods to new measurement techniques.
The first surveying step known as “precise leveling” has already begun from Madaar of Siraha district at the Nepal-India border point, according to the department. As of now, about 170 kilometers had been completed. By the end of this year, the precise leveling will be completed up to Lukla.
The department said they have targeted to produce the final report on the precise height of Everest by the end of 2019.
The Himalayan country, home to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains over 8,000 metres, has never measured the peak on its own and uses its snow height of 8,848m that was measured by the Survey of India in 1954.
There are speculations that the height of Everest could have changed due to the earthquake, with a possible shift in its position.
In 2005, the Chinese State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping re-measured the peak and declared Everest 8,844.43m high in rock-height.
The mountain sits on the Tibet border and Chinese and Nepalese officials have disagreed over the peak’s height.
The Nepalese government collects more than $3.5 million in royalty fees from Everest climbers every season, which normally starts in April and concludes in May. It charges $11,000 per person from the foreigner for the climb.
Over 5,000 climbers have scaled Everest since it was first conquered by New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in 1953.