MHA Withdraws Notification On Allowing Climbing On ‘Sacred’ Peaks Of Sikkim

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The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has withdrawn its notification allowing climbing and trekking on a total of 14 Himalayan sacred peaks in Sikkim.

“It has been decided with the approval of the competent authority that the 14 peaks located in the state of Sikkim may be deleted from the list of 137 peaks opened for mountaineering/ trekking,” an MHA notification stated.

The 14 peaks in Sikkim are Forked Peak – 6108 m, Gocha Peak-6118 m, Jopono-5936 m, Kabru North-7338 m, Kabru South-7317 m, Kanru Dome-6640 m and Kanchunjunga-8598 m, Kanchunjunga South – 8474 m, Narsing – 5825 m, Pandim – 6691 m, Simvo – 6811 m, Simvo II – 6812 m, Simvo North – 6587 m, Simvo North East – 6540 and Siniolchu – 6888 m.

On August 21st, 2019, the MHA issued a notification regarding the opening of the Himalayan peaks for foreigners, including the 8,589 meter-high ‘holy peak’ of Kanchenjunga in Sikkim, for mountaineering expeditions and trekking.

Centre’s decision had sparked strong resentment among the people of Sikkim and the local organisations. On August 25th, 2019, the Denzong Sherpa Association (DSA) demanded the BJP-led central government to withdraw its decision to open 137 Himalayan peaks for mountaineering expeditions and trekking. The Sikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex Committee (SIBLAC) had also condemned the centre’s decision.

Photo: TIME8