China has continued to pressure Nepal to recognize the height of Everest as 8,844.43m instead of the accepted present height of 8,848m.
If the Chinese had their way, the Everest elevation would come down by 3.57 metres.
The highest point of the world’s tallest peak would be based on its rock surface and not the snow surface, as is the practice.
This height was established in 1954 by surveyors led by B L Gulatee.
Everest lies on the border between Nepal and China.
In the border talks between Nepal and China, scheduled for earlier this month but postponed at the last moment at Nepal’s request , the height of Everest was one of the issues on the agenda, according to government officials.
China in 2005 announced the height of Everest to be the rock height of 8,844.43m and in subsequent talks with Nepal a year later it had asked Nepal for the first time to recognize this height.
This is a departure from China’s earlier position. While signing the Nepal-China border map in 1975 China had accepted the height of Everest to be 8848.13m, according to a Nepali survey official.
To make matters complicated , the National Geographic Society of the US in 1999 determined the height through global positioning system (GPS) technology as 8,850m.The GPS technology is relatively new method, but earlier heights were ascertained by trigonometric and leveling methods like the one used by Indian surveyors.-ToI