March 20 , 2016
Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) on Saturday distributed compensation to family of trekking workers who lost their lives in the blizzards in different mountain areas of the country triggered by Hud Hud Cyclone in 2014.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Ananad Prasad Pokharel handed over checks to bereaved family members amid a program organized at TAAN Secretariat.
Though bereaved family members had already received Rs 50,000 as funeral compensation, TAAN had not been able to provide relief amount due to delay in release of its share from TIMS fund from Npeal Tourism Board (NTB).
As per the application received from its member agencies, the 11th meeting of TAAN Executive Commitee had decided to provide compensation of Rs 250,000, including funeral compensation, to family members of Jit Bahadur Tamang, Lakpa Sherpa and Krishna BK of Annapurna Treks & Expedition; Lakpa Dorje Lama, Lama Pemba Lopchan, Dawa Syanga, Roman Tamang, Dawa Sidar Tamang, Som Lopchan, Wangdi Lopchan, Sanu Kaji Ghising and Aitaram Ghising of Destination Nepal Treks; Bhoj Kumar Rai, Gopal Rai and Dorje Shepra of Himalayan Explorer Treks; Pasang Thsering Sherpa of Swissa's Mountain Way Trek; Sante Tamang of Nepal Ecology Treks; and Top Nath Lamichhane of Ammonite Adventure & Treks.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister Pokharel said it was unfortunate that bereaved family members couldn't received relief amount in time. "We have begun releasing TAAN's share from TIMS Fund by sorting our different technical issues. Though the relief amount is small, we are hopeful that it be of some help to the bereaved family members," he added.
Apologizing for the delay in handover of relief amount to bereaved family members, Rajendra Sapkota, board member of NTB, said necessary initaitives have been taken to release TAAN's share from TIMS fund. "We are working to prepare a mechanism through which TAAN's share will be directly deposited into its account," he said, drawing attention of TAAN leadership toward wise use of the amount.
Speaking on behalf of tourism workers, Suman Parajuli, general secretary of UNITRAV, said delay in handover of relief amount to bereaved family members was unfortunate. As tourism workers work in a difficult environment, their insruance and other facilities should be duly ensured, he said, demanding that insurance of trekking workers should be raised to Rs 1 million immediately.
On the occasion, TAAN Senior VIce President Tashi Lakpa Sherpa apologized, on behalf of TAAN, for the delay in handover of relief amount to bereaved family members. Similarly, TAAN General Secretary Karna Bahadur Lama said TAAN could not hand over relief amount to bereaved family members in time becuase of the delay in release of fund by NTB. He also said TAAN was working to create safe working environment for tourism workers and uphold their rights.
Speaking at the program, TAAN President Chandra Prasad Rijal said the relief amount, albeit small, will heal the wounds of bereaved family members. He also said TAAN was working to make Nepali mountain tourism sector safe for all.