Nepal Tourism Insurance Scam: Govt Proposes Special Rescue Unit

Proposed guidelines will soon come into force after rounds of consultations with all the related stakeholders
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Nepal Tourism Insurance Scam: Govt Proposes Special Rescue Unit

In a major turn pertaining to Nepal tourism insurance scam, the Government of Nepal has finally decided to take a stern action on middlemen involved in mountaineering activities.

In view of the global insurance & rescue firms’ serious note on halting their services, the government decided to bar all local agents of those firms from getting involved in tourism search & rescue operations.

A high-level government panel investigating the issue announced a 15-point Mountaineering and Trekking Search and Rescue Guidelines that proposes a special police force under the Nepal Tourism Board to support mountaineering activities in place of agents.

“The guidelines aim to curb fraudulent activities while conducting search and rescue of tourists, especially foreign trekkers and mountaineers visiting high mountain areas,” says Dandu Raj Ghimire, Director General at the Department of Tourism, Nepal.

According to Ghimire, the proposed guidelines will soon come into force after rounds of consultations with all the related stakeholders.

“None of the agents will be allowed to conduct search and rescue of tourists on behalf of international companies,” he adds.

Under the new guidelines:

  • A special rescue and search unit under Nepali police will offer 24/7 support in managing necessary resources, along with helicopter services and high-altitude rescues
  • The special unit can also invite private helicopter companies to bid for rescue services that they want to offer tourists in high mountains
  • The unit holds authority to mobilize police or army choppers in the absence of private helicopters
  • The police welfare fund will be instantly utilized to conduct search & rescue, and will be reimbursed once the payment is made by the insurance companies
  • A special monitoring committee under the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Home Affairs will take care of arrangements from fixing prices to validating documents

“Minister, secretary and representatives from different companies are scheduled to meet to finalize the guidelines,” Ghimire said in a statement.

Ghimire expressed hope the new guidelines will put an end to malpractices such a fake insurance claims concerning tourists visiting Nepal.

Also Read: Nepal Tourism Insurance Scam: Global Insurers Warn, Demand Stern Action

August 24, 2018 |

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