Mumbai: The Haj Committee of India last Tuesday released tentative flight schedule for the Haj season 2018. The apex body, responsible to manage all Haj travel operations for the Indian pilgrims, has hired chartered planes for the air travel of the worshippers embarking on the annual ritual.
In an official announcement the Haj Committee of India said the first Haj flight from India will be on July 14, 2018 and the last haj flight will be on August 16, 2018. “The Haj pilgrims from India will embark for Haj journey from 20 embarkation points by Charter Planes from 14th July, 2018 to 16th August, 2018 tentatively”, the Haj Committee of India said.
India has been allotted a quota of 170,525 pilgrims based on the population of Muslims in the country. Out of them 128,525 pilgrims will go to Makkah through Haj Committee of India., the remaining will hire the services of Private Tour Operators (PTO).
Coinciding with Eid al Adha, Haj is the annual ritual to commemorate the sacrifices made by Prophet Ibrahim, his wife Hager and his son Prophet Ismael. The likely date of Wuqoof e Arafat - the key ritual of the Hajj, is August 20 or 19. As the Islamic calendar is based on sighting of moon, the final date will be decided once the new moon of the month of Dhul Hijjah is sighted. Last year, Wuqoof e Arafat was on August 31, 2017.
More than 02 million pilgrims from over 150 countries, including 170,025 from India, performed Haj in 2017. The first Haj flight in 2017 was from Delhi Embarkation Point on July 24 whereas the last Haj flight in 2017 was on August 26.
Meanwhile, the Haj Committee of India has also asked for quotation from different Nationalized and Scheduled banks for disbursement of Saudi Riyals in cash to the pilgrims of Haj 1439 (H) -2018. “Each pilgrim will be given 2,100 Saudi Riyal at the airport before they embark to Makkah, Saudi Arabia for Haj”, the Haj Committee of India said. The Indian equivalent of this amount is deposited by the pilgrims to Haj Committee of India which is returned to them in Saudi Riyal.
“Each pilgrim is disbursed a total of 2,100 Saudi Riyal in 500x4 and 100x1 denominations. It comes to a total of SAR 26.99 crores for 128,525 pilgrims”, the Haj Committee of India said.
The pilgrims will travel to Makkah from 20 embarkation points including Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Cochin, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Goa, Hydebrabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Gaya, Ranchi, Srinagar and Varanasi.
The Haj Committee of India will release the final schedule of all inbound and outbound flights including the allowed baggage and other details from all embarkation points on its website very soon. The pilgrims are required to use their cover number to check their flight details and status once they are uploaded on the Haj Committee of India website.
The Haj Committee had earlier completed the Qurrah or Draw of Lots to select the final list of pilgrims who will perform Haj in 2018 from India. The Qurrah or Draw of lots is done as number of Muslims applying for Haj exceeds the quota allotted to India.
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