ITANAGAR, 25 Aug: The family members of missing Everester Tapi Mra have urged the government to continue providing support after the government-sponsored search operation for the Everester and his aide Niku Dao ended in disappointment as it had to be cut short following drastic weather condition at Mt Khyarii Satam, which made the operation dangerous for the team.
Mra’s sister, Yatok Mra Nilo, appealed to the state government to help the family in the operation, whenever needed.
“As per the government norms, seven years is the waiting period to declare someone dead if gone missing. One year has passed, and we will be waiting for another six years, but also continue the search to find hard evidence to ensure the existence of the climbers, missing or dead,” she said, adding that the norms have to be followed to avail of government benefits as Mra was a government employee.
“Since we have not gathered any hard evidence on the existence of my brother and his aide besides a water bottle, we believe that they are dead. However, we are also optimistic and will make efforts to find evidence to confirm it,” she said.
She appealed to the state government to clear the Rs 74 lakhs budget placed by the family members for the search operation and other liabilities.
Nilo said that the state government provided Rs 20 lakhs during the recently concluded search operation. “Of the total amount, the money was used in hiring the experts from Nepal, transportation, payment to the porters, team members, etc, on Friday,” she said, and added that the “liability has become a burden on the family.”
“The entire expenditure for the operation from day one was borne by the family with no support from the state government. We managed the expenditure money by borrowing from others. Now, without the clearance of the bill submitted to the state government, it will be impossible for us,” she said, and appealed to the department concerned to clear the bill.
When asked about the demands of the family, Nilo said that “the demand for action against the then DC of East Kameng district is yet to be met, and the three-member committee report on the matter and the naming of an indoor stadium in Daporijo as Tapi Mra Stadium is yet to be addressed by the state government.”
“Likewise, the demands for extending financial support to the family members of Niku Dao and a government job for a family member of Tapi Mra is yet to be addressed,” she added.
Nilo informed that Mra and Dao’s intention behind climbing Mt Khyarii Satam was to “explore the area to demarcate a proper route to the areas, which ultimately would lead to make the state an adventure tourism hub.”
“The idea was to make the state an adventure sports hotspot, which people don’t understand, and a few are making negative remarks,” she said.
The 34-member search team, including four Everesters – Tagit Sorang, Tame Bagang, Gelje Sherpa and Furi Sherpa – along with two Everester Sherpas from Nepal and mountaineer Taru Hai had undertaken the search operation.
Mra and Dao went missing in Mt Khyarii Satam in East Kameng district in August 2022, when they were on a mission to climb the revered mountain. The latest search operation ended on 21 August this year.
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