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Saudi Govt. promises better and excellent Haj in terms of service

Sunday November 07, 2010 03:36:20 PM, Staff Reporter

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Malegaon: The government in Saudi Arabia has assured a better and excellent Haj this year in terms of service.


"This year’s annual pilgrimage would be much better than those in previous years in terms of services", Arab News quoted Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal who inspected the preparations for Haj in the holy sites of Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah on Saturday.

He said the use of the Mashair Railway would bring about remarkable improvements in the transportation of pilgrims between the holy places. Established at a cost of SR6.5 billion, the new railway will have a capacity to transport 72,000 pilgrims an hour.

Nine stations have been constructed in Arafat, Mina and Muzdalifah, each having three stations. This is the second largest project implemented by the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs after the SR4.5 billion high-tech Jamrat Bridge project in Mina.

The nonstop transport system, which will be used this year to transport 780,000 pilgrims from Iran, Turkey, Europe, Australia, US, and those from non-Arab African countries. The system will enable the transportation of 44,000 pilgrims between the holy places within an hour.

“It will reduce the time for reaching Muzdalifah from Arafat from five hours to 20 minutes,” an official statement said, adding that the system would be developed further to transport three million pilgrims in the future.

Prince Khaled also inspected the fourth floor of the high-tech Jamrat Bridge in Mina as well as the helipad to take pilgrims suffering from chronic diseases to specialized hospitals using the Saudi Red Crescent Authority’s air ambulances. This is the first time an air ambulance service has been set up near the Jamrat.

Meanwhile, Prince Khaled chaired a meeting of the Central Haj Committee at the governorate office in Muzdalifah and reviewed preparations for Haj in the presence of ministers and top officials.

The governor urged government departments and private agencies to mobilize all their resources to serve pilgrims and make the Haj operation a resounding success.

He said expansion work at King Abdulaziz Airport’s Haj Terminal was completed before the Haj season, adding that this helped pilgrims enjoy quick services at the airport.

He said the new Red Crescent helipads in Mawiya, Wadi Qadid, Shumaisy and Al-Laith would benefit pilgrims.

Speaking about the Haj awareness campaign, Prince Khaled said it would contribute to reducing the number of pilgrims who squat in public places.

He said more than 112,000 pilgrims have already registered with domestic pilgrim companies and obtained Haj permits. “The figure is much higher than in previous years and shows that the media campaign is bearing fruit,” he said.

In a related development, the Civil Defense department said it has installed about 500 CCTV cameras in Makkah and the holy places to monitor the movement of pilgrims 24 hours a day.

The department has 460 centers in Makkah and the holy places in addition to 40 field units stationed outside the city.






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