Kathmandu, April 22: The Nepali government has implemented a quota system for mountaineers to climb Mt. Everest aimed at preventing overcrowding on the world's tallest peak.
As per the new rules enforced on Wednesday, the Nepali government has introduced a "first come, first ascent" policy, allowing certain groups of mountaineers who had received climbing permits first to summit the mountain in the first weather window, Xinhua news agency reported.
Similarly, other groups are allowed to climb the mountain in other positive weather windows.
"If this policy leads to an unmanageable situation, expedition organisers are allowed to arrange expeditions of maximum 170 individuals in each positive weather window through coordination among themselves," states rules.
Positive weather windows remain limited as the mountaineers seek to scale the 8848.86-metre tall mountains as early as possible.
The Nepali government's move has come amid intense scrutiny over a reported traffic jam on Mt. Everest in 2019 when a record 644 mountaineers, including 280 foreigner mountaineers, stepped onto the top of the world.
Nepal's Tourism Department has however been rejecting the idea that there had ever been a traffic jam and that overcrowding caused deaths of climbers.
Mira Acharya, director at the mountaineering section of the department, told Xinhua on Wednesday that the rules were enforced to ensure proper management of expeditions.
"It is not guided by the assumption that there had been traffic jams in the past," she said.
Meanwhile, any tourist who has returned from mountaineering of one mountain and wants to climb another mountain can get a climbing permit only after he or she has tested negative for the coronavirus with another Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). - IANS