Srinagar, September 11 (Scoop News)- Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah’s sustained efforts to make Hajj operation hassle-free from the State by operating direct Hajj flights from Srinagar has yielded favourable result for the Hajj pilgrims and Indian Airlines is operating flights from Srinagar to Saudi Arabia directly for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage.
Chairing the Hajj Committee meeting here Tuesday afternoon, Omar Abdullah who is also Chairman of the J&K State Hajj Committee said that the direct operations of Hajj flights by the Indian Airlines would make the pilgrimage smooth and relieve the intending Hajj pilgrims of the burden of transshipment from one aircraft to another.
The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Hajj, Ajaz Ahmad Khan, Legislator Jahangir Mir, former Minister Nissar Ahmad Khan and other Members of the Hajj Committee besides Principal Secretary Planning and Development B. B. Vyas, Divisional Commissioner, Asgar Samoon, Commissioner Secretary Hajj and Auqaf, Bashir Ahmad Runiyal, Deputy Commissioners of Srinagar and Budgam, IG traffic, Director Srinagar Airport and other senior officers.
Asking the Hajj Committee to put in place all efforts in providing best possible facilities to the Hajj pilgrims, Omar Abdullah said that every care should be taken for their accommodation, stay at Hajj House, immigration and custom clearance, etc. He directed the Hajj Committee to publish a guide book for the pilgrims indicating details of the facilities, emergency service, enquiry and related issues that would prove helpful to them in Saudi Arabia during the performance of the Hajj. He said this guide book should be provided to all the Hajj pilgrims. He also directed for providing SIM Cards as introduced during Hajj-2011 to Khudam-ul-Hujaj so that they could be contacted by the pilgrims in the hour of need.
It was stated in the meeting that highest number of over 9100 Aazmeen-e-Hajj would be performing Hajj-2012 as the Hajj quota for the State has been increased from last year’s 8441 to 8670 this year which is highest in last four years. In addition to this Private Hajj Operators are facilitating 500 intending Hajj pilgrims.
The Hajj Committee expressed gratitude to the Chief Minister for making possible direct Hajj flights from Srinagar and helping enhancement of the Hajj quota for Jammu and Kashmir. The Members of the Hajj Committee also expressed satisfaction over the arrangements put in place by the government last year for Hajj pilgrimage.
In a PowerPoint presentation Commissioner Secretary Hajj and Auqaf, B. A. Runiyal gave details of the arrangements and preparedness for Hajj-2012. He said that the first Hajj flight will be from 17th of September this year and each day 270 Aazmeen-e-Hajj will be carried from Srinagar to Saudi Arabia. He said one flight is scheduled for one day. However, he added that two Hajj flights would be operated for eight days.
Presenting brief about the preparedness and operational schedule of Indian Airlines, the authorities of the Airlines said that Hajj flights will commence at Srinagar and land at Sharjah for refueling wher from these will fly to Madinah Munawar.
Minister of State for Hajj, Ajaz Ahmad Khan informed the meeting that the return of Hajjis from Saudi Arabia has been arranged under first schedule to save the hardships that may occur due to whether vagaries during winter months.
Wishing for successful Hajj-2012, the Chief Minister expressed the hope that the facilities to be provided to Hajj pilgrims would be better than last year.