Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said here that, even after ending the Haj subsidy, Rs 57 crore less will be paid to airlines this year for those Haj pilgrims, who are going through Haj Committee of India.
While addressing an Orientation cum Training camp for Haj Coordinators / Assistant Haj Officers / Haj Assistants and Medical personnels in New Delhi, Naqvi said that in 2017, a total of Rs 1030 crore was paid to airlines for air fare for 1,24,852 Haj pilgrims. Whereas, in 2018, a total of Rs 973 crore will be paid to airlines for 1,28,702 Haj pilgrims, going through Haj Committee of India.
Naqvi said that a total of 3,55,604 applications had been received for Haj 2018 which included 1,89,217 male and 1,66,387 female applicants. For the first time Muslim women from India are also going to Haj without “Mehram” (male companion). A total of 1308 women are going to Haj this year without “Mehram”.
For the first time, choice of embarkation points has been given to Haj pilgrims which has received overwhelming response.
Naqvi said that for the first time after the Independence, record 1,75,025 Muslims from India are going to Haj this year. These include record more than 47 per cent female pilgrims.
Naqvi said that despite of removal of Haj subsidy and various new taxes imposed in Saudi Arabia; for the first time after the Independence a record number of Muslims from India are going to Haj this year that too without any additional financial burden.
Naqvi said that for the first time such a large number of women Haj Coordinators, Haj Assistants and Khadim Ul Hujjaj, doctors and para-medics have been deployed in Saudi Arabia. A total of 98 female Assistant Haj Officers, Haj Assistants Haj Coordinators, doctors and para-medics have been deployed to assist Haj pilgrims.
Representatives from Minority Affairs Ministry, Health Ministry and Urban Development Ministry informed in detail, various issues concerned to Haj, pilgrims, their health, safety and accommodation etc., during the Orientation cum Training camp
Naqvi said that a total of 6700 pilgrims will go from Ahmedabad, 350 from Aurangabad, 5550 from Bengaluru, 254 from Bhopal, 11,700 from Cochin, 4000 from Chennai, 19,000 from Delhi, 5140 from Gaya, 450 from Goa, 2950 from Guwahati, 7600 from Hyderabad, 5500 from Jaipur, 11,610 from Kolkata, 14,500 from Lucknow, 430 from Mangalore, 14,200 from Mumbai, 2800 from Nagpur, 2100 from Ranchi, 8950 from Srinagar and 3250 from Varanasi.
Flights for Haj will start from 14th July, 2018. On 14th July, pilgrims from Delhi, Gaya, Guwahati, Lucknow and Srinagar will go for Haj; on 17th July pilgrims from Kolkata; on 20th July pilgrims from Varanasi; on 21st July pilgrims from Mangalore; on 26th July pilgrims from Goa; on 29th July pilgrims from Aurangabad, Chennai, Mumbai and Nagpur; on 30th July pilgrims from Ranchi; on 01stAugust pilgrims from Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Cochin, Hyderabad and Jaipur and on 03rd August, pilgrims from Bhopal will go for Haj.