Gangtok: The Union government has withdrawn its decision on opening mountaineering expedition in Mount Kanchenjunga and other 13 sacred peaks of the state.
As per information, a high-level meeting was convened by AK Bhalla, home secretary, government of India on August 30 in New Delhi. The matter of the sacred peaks was discussed in detail, following which the decision was taken unanimously. The meeting was attended by several concerned agencies including Chief Secretary AK Srivastava.
It was decided that the 14 sacred peaks, regarded as deities in Sikkim, will not be opened for mountaineering and trekking. Additionally, it was decided that 10 other peaks of Sikkim will be allowed for mountaineering and trekking on the request of Indian Mountaineering Federation (IMF).
While speaking with EastMojo on the same, Tseten Tashi, convenor of Sikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex Committee (SIBLAC), said that he would not want to comment on the first part of the decision made by the Union government unless he receives any valid notification from them.
However, on the second part, Tseten questioned IMF for taking the decision on behalf of the state. “I have been associated with this issue for quite a long time. Sikkim government is the main stakeholder and only they have the authority to take the decision and not IMF. Does IMF know about our sacred peaks, do they know about our culture and nature?” he asked.
He also said that such crucial decisions should be made in the domain of the state government, stakeholders and the public of Sikkim. Both MHA and IMF should co-ordinate with the state government first and then take the necessary decision.
Earlier in August, the Union home ministry had listed Mt Kanchenjunga and other peaks of Sikkim open for climbing which triggered protests from the people of the state as they consider it as their guardian deity.
The Sikkim government had requested the Centre to reconsider their decision.