HCI chief inspects Haj Camp arrangements

Haj Committee of India (HCI) Chairman Chowdhary Mahboob Ali Khaiser has appreciated the arrangements made for the departure of Haj pilgrims from Hyderabad Embarkation Point.

Speaking to media persons at Haj House on Saturday, the HCI chairman said that the arrangements for Haj Camp at Haj House in Nampally were exemplary. He informed that this year about 1.20 lakh pilgrims from India would perform Haj through Haj Committee while 36,000 were going for Haj through private tour operators. He said in view of accidents that occurred during last year’s Haj, it has been decided to bring private operators into some regulation to maintain the data of all Haj pilgrims.

Chowdhary also said that there was a huge demand for calling global tenders for Haj flights. However, he said that the HCI was not empowered to call tenders and that Central Government would need to convert it into a corporation. Speaking about subsidies, he said the highest Haj subsidy of Rs. 1.10 lakh is being given to pilgrims of Andaman & Nicobar Island while the Mumbai pilgrims get lowest subsidy of Rs. 9,000.

The HCI chief admitted of some delays in issuing of Visas for Haj pilgrims this year. He said the delay was due to change in guidelines. He said the Saudi authorities would issue new SIM cards only after taking finger prints. Stating that nearly 40% Haj pilgrims have reached the holy cities of Mecca and Madina, he said that the last flight would take off on August 28.

He will flag off the first batch of pilgrims at Haj House from Telangana on Sunday at 10 AM. The flight will take off from Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at 2.10 PM.

AP Haj Committee chairman Momin Ahmed Shareef, HCI Member and incharge Hyderabad Embarkation Point Tayyaba Afandi, Telangana State Haj Committee Special Officer Prof. S.A. Shukoor and other officials were also present. (INN)