Arunachal mountaineer leaves for Mera peak expedition

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Itanagar, Jun 10 (UNI) Arunachal Pradesh Minister for Public Works Department (PWD) Nabam Tuki today flagged off a one-man expedition, undertaken by Tapi Mra, of the 6,654 metre Mera Peak, situated in Nepal, here.

Wishing success to Tapi Mra, the lone mountaineer from Arunachal Pradesh, Mr Tuki hoped that many more youths of this Himalayan state would tread in his footsteps, inspired by his success.

''His efforts would bring laurels for the state,'' Mr Tuki added.

He also appealed to the people to protect the rich flora and fauna and natural beauty of the state.

Earlier, in a press briefing Mr Mra said, ''I do not represent any club or association, except my state. All the success I achieve in the mountaineering arena will be known as an Arunachalee's feat at the national level and an Indian citizen in the world.'' Even at the young age of 26 years, Mr Mra has the credit of climbing experience of more than 10 peaks.

He belongs to the Lemeking area in Upper Subansiri district of the state and completed his mountaineering course from Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling.

He completed Para Gliding courses from Manali and Basic Water Sports course from Regional Water Sports Centre in Pongdam in Himachal Pradesh.

He has claimed to have climbed the 6,160 metre high Island Peak in Nepal last year bare foot, adding that if weather permitted, he would try once again to scale the Mera peak without shoes.

Replying to a question on why he chose the Mera peak, he said, ''My main aim is to climb Mt Everest in a solo effort in the latter part of this year. Before that it is essential to scale the 'B' category of summits under which the Mera peak falls.'' He said he derived inspiration from Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to scale the highest peak Mt Everest, and always aspired to be a mountaineer.

He also said he believed that he would be the first Indian to attempt solo climbing of Mt Everest, adding that earlier, a New Zealander had succeeded to scale the highest peak in a solo effort.

The state government has already sanctioned Rs 10.75 lakh from the non-plan sector during 2008-09 for the Mt Everest expedition by Tapi Mra.

Mera peak is the highest peak among the 33 'B' category peaks recognised by the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA).

The Nepal Himalayas are divided into two groups - the peaks 7,000 to 8,848 metres high, called expedition peaks under control by Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation Mountaineering section of Nepal government, and those of 5,500 to 6,654 metres height, named trekking peaks and controlled by the NMA.

After completeing his present expedition, he would collect data for suitable weather conditions in Nepal for scaling Mt Everest, he said.

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