External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj intervened on Saturday to help some 15 Indians stranded near Everest after some of them tweeted about their plight to her.
“Currently stranded in Lukla since two days, Nepal, with copter company looters refusing to evacuate us to Kathmandu unless we pay 600 dollars per head,” Amit Thadhani, a practising surgeon said in a tweet addressed to the external affairs minister’s twitter handle, adding, “We paid 200 dollars per head fare from Kathmandu to Lukla.”
Swaraj forwarded Thadhani’s tweet to the Indian embassy in Nepal, saying “Manjeev – Pls see this”, referring to the Indian envoy Manjeev Singh Puri.
The embassy responded: “Mission is in touch with them. Flights from Lukla are cancelled due to bad weather. We are trying to get them evacuated by helicopter.”
Bad weather has led to stranding of many trekkers around Lukla. Taking advantage of the rush, helicopter companies are reportedly overcharging people.
Another Indian Sourav Ghosh tweeted: “Please help us to get out of here as we have been stranded for two days in Lukla Airport and helicopter operators are demanding insane amount of money for taking people out. Thanks a lot once again.”
Many other twitter uses forwarded the requests to the prime ministers of India and Nepal.
Situated at 2,860 metres, Lukla is known as the gateway to Mount Everest. It has a small airport, which is considered one of the most dangerous airports in the world.
Lukla is a popular destination for trekkers in the summer season.