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Nepal Climbers Retreive 4 Bodies, 11 Tonnes of Decades-Old Garbage from Mount Everest

A clean-up team of 20 sherpa climbers collected five tons of litter in April and May from different camps sites above the base camp and another six tons from the areas below

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Workers from a recycling company load garbage collected and brought from Mount Everest, in Kathmandu, Nepal, June 5, 2019. VOA

Nepali climbers have retrieved four bodies and collected some 11 tons of decades-old garbage from Mount Everest and its approach below the base camp as part of a drive to clean up the world’s highest mountain, the government said on Wednesday.

Climbers returning from the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) mountain say its slopes are littered with human excrement, used oxygen bottles, torn tents, ropes, broken ladders, cans and plastic wrappers left behind by climbers, an embarrassment for a country that earns valuable revenue from Everest expeditions.

The garbage, along with the bodies of some of the 300 people who have died over the years on Everest’s slopes, are buried under the snow during winter, but become visible when the snow melts in summer.

mount everest
FILE – Mountaineers walk near Camp One of Mount Everest, April 29, 2018, as they prepare to ascend on the south face from Nepal. VOA

A clean-up team of 20 sherpa climbers collected five tons of litter in April and May from different camps sites above the base camp and another six tons from the areas below, said Dandu Raj Ghimire, director general of the Department of Tourism.

“Unfortunately, some garbage collected in bags at the South Col could not be brought down due to bad weather,” Ghimire said in a statement on Wednesday.

Everest was first conquered by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953 and about 5,000 people have since reached the summit. South Col, on the Southeast Ridge route pioneered by Hillary and Tenzing, is located at some 8,016 meters (26,300 feet), and it is the site of the final camp from where climbers begin their summit attempts.

Mount Everest
Mountaineering in Nepal has become a lucrative business . Pixabay

Cleaning campaign coordinator Nim Dorjee Sherpa, head of the village where Mount Everest is located, told Reuters two bodies were collected from the treacherous Khumbu Icefall and two from camp three site at the Western Cwm. “They were exposed from the snow when the sherpas picked up and brought them down,” he said.

None of the four bodies have been identified and it was not known when they died. Nine mountaineers died on the Nepali side of Everest in May while two perished on the Tibetan side, making it the deadliest climbing season since 2015.

ALSO READ: Nepali Sherpa Breaks Own Record, Climbs Everest Twice in Week

Climbers returning from Everest have talked of crowding and delays on the Nepali side just below the summit in the “death zone”, so-called because at that altitude the lack of oxygen can be fatal. However climbers and guides have blamed a host of factors for the deaths.

Ghimire, of the Department of Tourism, said the deaths were not because of congestion but due to bad weather and short summit windows. Nepal this year issued 381 permits to climb the Everest, costing $11,000 each, an important source of income for the cash-strapped nation. (VOA)

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Delhi Has Become Worse Than Hell: Supreme Court

Polluted Delhi even worse than hell, says angry SC

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Polluted Delhi
The Supreme Court of India said that hell is better than polluted Delhi. Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court on Monday said that Delhi has become worse than “Narak” (hell) in the wake of deteriorating air quality, mounting garbage and unfit drinking water, and asked why should not the state administration be held accountable to compensate people.

A bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Deepak Gupta queried from Chief Secretary Vijay Dev, present before the bench: “Are you serious about water and air pollution in Delhi… you have just 55 per cent capacity to handle waste, what about the remaining 45 per cent?”

As the Chief Secretary sought to explain that Delhi governance is an issue due to dual power centres, Justice Mishra retorted: “Do not blame others, and think you can get scot free. You are liable to compensate the people. How much money is coming to clean the Yamuna River, and where it is going… What is the status of water in Delhi. We are taking suo moto cognizance of people’s right to get pure drinking water.”

The top court observed that life is not cheap in India anymore, and what was given in Bhopal gas tragedy is nothing compared to what is given to victims in similar cases worldwide. “What is the value of life you assess? People are suffering from bronchial asthma, do you know how many cancer patients are in Delhi,” the court said, adding Delhi government’s top administrative officer has no right to be on his chair.

Pollution in Delhi
The Supreme Court also talks about the deteriorating air quality, mounting garbage and unfit drinking water in Delhi. Pixabay

“Can you monetise the reduction in life span?” the court asked.

Emphasising that state authorities are busy in passing the buck, and in fact, playing the blame game on the issue of water and air pollution in Delhi, an angry Justice Mishra said: “You are politicising the issue of pollution… why governments are not sitting together, instead of blaming each other… everything cannot be done under the noose of this court.”

The top court, hearing the response of Chief Secretaries of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi in connection with steps taken to curb air pollution, slammed top officials of the state administrations for showing lack of seriousness in responding to pollution matters which cause a direct threat to human life.

The judges said that they were shocked to notice that measures to cut down pollution from stubble burning were nil and steps were only being taken to penalise the violators, despite specific court orders.

Also Read- Climate Change: Greenhouse Gas Concentrations Again Break Records

Pulling up the governments of Haryana and Punjab, the court said: “Why are people being forced to live in gas chambers? It is better to kill them all in one go… Get explosives in 15 bags at one go.”

The apex court also directed the Central Pollution Control Board to file a report on the adverse impact of factories in and around Delhi on the environment. (IANS)