SRINAGAR, July 24:Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, was unanimously elected as the Chairperson of the J&K State Haj Committee here today.Following his election as Chairperson, the Chief Minister nominated Minister for Horticulture, Haj & Auqaf, A. R. Veeri as the Vice-Chairperson of the State Haj Committee, which was reconstituted in June last month.
The decisions to this effect were taken during the meeting of J&K State Haj Committee.Those who attended the meeting included MLA Pampore, Zahoor Ahmad Mir, MLCs, Dr. Shehnaz Ganai and Ali Mohammad Dar, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Secretary Revenue, Afzal Bhat, Secretary to Chief Minister, M. H. Malik, the other Members of State Haj Committee comprising former Minister Haji Nissar Ali, Imam-wa Khateeb, Masjid Ziarat Alia Syed Saheb, Sonwar, Maulana Akhzar Hussain, President Auqaf Committee, Achabal, Ghulam Mohiuddin Bhat, besides Executive Officer, Haj Committee, Fayaz Ahmad Lone.
In order to facilitate Haj pilgrims this year, the Chief Minister directed the Executive Officer to devise a strategy for their proper handholding, which includes awareness camps for dos and don’ts, providing unique ID cards for identification and hassle-free movement of pilgrims at the Srinagar International Airport. “The Haj Committee should monitor facilitation of pilgrims during security and luggage checking before their departure so that they do not face any difficulty after they alight at Medina Munawarah,” he said.
Asking the State Haj Committee to ensure that Khudam-ul-Hujaj perform their duties with utmost care, Mufti Sayeed said the pilgrims repose great faith in the arrangements made by the State Government. “All required measures should be in place for providing best possible services to the pilgrims in the Holy Land,” he stressed.
The Chief Minister was informed that direct Haj flights to Medina Munawarah will commence from August 17 next month for which all necessary arrangements have been made by the State Haj Committee. While two daily Indian Airlines flights will operate between Srinagar and Medina from 17 to 21 August, a single flight will operate on a daily basis from August 22 till August 31. Each flight will carry 340 pilgrims.
In order to facilitate the pilgrims, the State Haj Committee has introduced new features which include baggage standardization to avoid delays at the airports and Adhai – Qurbani coupons.
The Minister for Haj & Auqaf informed the Chief Minister that as many as 6,684 pilgrims are expected to perform Haj-e-Baitullah from J&K this year. “Travel documents of Azmeen-e-Haj, after proper scrutiny, will be handed over to them before departure,” he stated.
There has been a 20 per cent reduction in Haj quota, ordered by Saudi Government this year, due to renovation and expansion of Masjid Al-Haram premises this year.While receiving detailed appraisal of accommodation arranged for pilgrims, facilities put in place for their stay at Haj House at Jammu and Srinagar respectively, their movement from various districts to Srinagar Haj House, food and bedding and flight schedules, the Chief Minister directed the State Haj Committee to convene a meeting on August 8, next month, to finalize arrangements for making travel and stay of Haj pilgrims comfortable.
While inviting suggestions from various Members for further smooth coordination of Haj 2015, Mufti Sayeed also asked the State Haj Committee to devise a plan for optimal use of Haj House round-the-year for improving its internal revenue generation.