Everest climbers return, receive warm welcome

Kolkata: Sports enthusiasts turned up in large numbers at the city airport as mountaineers Basanta Singha Roy and Debashish Biswas returned from Kathmandu after annexing Mount Everest, the first by a civilian group from West Bengal.

Around 500-strong crowd, comprising members of various mountaineering clubs and sports lovers, assembled outside the international terminal as tumultuous scenes were witnessed when the climbers arrived in an Air India flight at around 5:45pm.

West Bengal Sports Minister Kanti Ganguly along with representatives of Punjab National Bank and Income Tax Employees, the workplaces of the duo, received them.

Looking tired but happy, Singha Roy gave credit to all the team members and the `sherpa` guides Pasang and Pemba.

"We are indeed very happy that we have been able to achieve our mission," he said referring to the feat on May 17.

Asked what would be their next venture, Singha Roy said it could be decided later.

"At the moment we are worried about the deficit incurred in the expedition, especially because of changing the route from Tibet to Nepal side," he said.

The three other members of the expedition team, Sourav Sinchan Mondal, Ashok Roy and Bibhas Biswas, who did not go beyond the base camp, also were in the same flight.

The expedition was organised by the Mountaineers Association of Krishnanagar.

Singha Roy and Biswas made the state proud by scaling the summit on May 17 after their plan to scale the 8,848 Mt peak had to be deferred because of very high wind.