Top mountaineering authority to deny permits to climb Kanchenjunga as Sikkim protests lifting ban
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Top mountaineering authority to deny permits to climb Kanchenjunga as Sikkim protests lifting ban

By Scroll calender  29-Aug-2019

Top mountaineering authority to deny permits to climb Kanchenjunga as Sikkim protests lifting ban

India’s top mountaineering authority the Indian Mountaineering Foundation said it will not issue permits to scale the Kanchenjunga, which is the third highest peak in the world at 8,568 metres, and many other peaks that are considered to be hallowed by locals, The Telegraph reported on Tuesday.
“The governing council of Indian Mountaineering Foundation has taken a decision not to issue any permit to [scale] the peaks in Sikkim which are under the category of sacred peaks, including Kanchenjunga, despite they now being in the open area,” the newspaper quoted the foundation’s President Colonel [retired] HS Chauhan as saying. The Indian Mountaineering Foundation, which is affiliated with the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation, is the regulatory authority for national and international climbing and mountaineering in the country.

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This came a week after the Union Home ministry lifted an 18-year-old ban on scaling the range by adding it to the “open area”, which allows mountaineers from India and abroad to scale the peak after acquiring permission from the mountaineering authority. Trekkers would previously approach the peak only from Nepal.
The home ministry decided to open 137 peaks in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Uttarakhand for promotion of adventure sports. Access to open peaks is given by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation, and for the restricted peaks the foundation gets permission from the defence ministry for Indian citizens. For foreign nationals, permission is obtained from both the defence and home ministries.
The central government order had made locals upset, after which Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang asked the home ministry to de-list 14 “sacred peaks” in the state, news website Time8 reported.

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