At Geospatial World Forum in Hyderabad, Dr. Swarna Subba Rao, the Surveyor General of India, declared that the Survey of India would soon ‘remeasure’ the height of Mount Everest. This initiative would not only verify doubts expressed over the height of the highest mountain on earth in some sections of the scientific community following the major earthquake in Nepal two years ago, it would also aid scientific studies.
“We are sending an expedition to Mount Everest. Everest height was declared, if I remember correctly, in 1855,” Dr. Rao said. “Many others also measured it. But the height given by the Survey of India, even today, is taken as the correct height. It is 29,028 feet. We are remeasuring it. Two years have passed since the major Nepal earthquake. After that, there is a doubt in the scientific community that it is shrinking. That is one of the reasons. Second reason is, it helps in scientific studies, plate movements etc.”
The expedition is expected to begin in a couple of months as all the necessary approvals have already been obtained. “I have got all the approvals. The MEA [Ministry of External Affairs] is also on board. If the Surveyor General of Nepal has come to Geospatial World Forum, I will have a meeting with him. As I see it, we plan to send the team in two months,” Dr. Rao explained. The endeavor is expected take about a month for observation and 15 more days for computation and declaration of data.
It should be noted that the Survey of India is co-hosting Geospatial World Forum in Hyderabad to kickstart the celebrations of 250 years of its inception. Dr. Rao also used the opportunity to announce that SoI would now begin advertising its work and capabilities, something that the agency has not done in the 250 years of its existence.