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Stage set for 1st batch of Hajj pilgrims from MP to take off from Bhopal

Tuesday October 18, 2011 11:50:55 PM, Pervez Bari,

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Bhopal: Stage is all set for the first batch of pilgrims from Madhya Pradesh state for Hajj 2011 to fly off to Jeddah from the state capital Bhopal’s Raja Bhoj International Airport on Wednesday (October 19).

In all 4,410 Hajj pilgrims would undertake pilgrimage this year from Madhya Pradesh. Apart from Bhopal, Hajj pilgrims would embark from Indore also. All preparations for the purpose at the transit point located in the historical Taj-ul-Masajid complex and at Bhopal’s Raja Bhoj Airport, the embarkation point have been completed. In Indore, the temporary Hajj House-cum- transit-point would be based at Al Shifa hospital.

Addressing a Press conference here on Tuesday Madhya Pradesh State Hajj Committee, (MPSHC), chairman Dr. Sanawwar Patel said that the Bharatiya Janata Party ruled state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will flag of the buses carrying the Hajj pilgrims from the transit point at Taj-ul-Masajid complex at 9 am. While former Chief Minister and Member of Parliament Mr. Kailash Joshi will flag off the aircraft carrying the pilgrims from the embarkation point at Raja Bhoj Airport at 12.20 pm.

Dr. Patel informed that nine flights carrying 245 pilgrims each would take off from the Bhopal and Indore each. From Bhopal the flight schedule is from October 19 to 26 while from Indore it is between October 26 to 30. From Bhopal there would be one flight from October 19 to 24 daily while there would be two flights on October 25 and one last flight on October 26. In the first Hajj flight there will be 234 pilgrims from Bhopal while remaining 11 are from Mahakoshal region of the state.

Dr. Patel revealed that taking cognizance from the previous experiences MPSHC has provided photographs and mobile numbers of the Khadim ul Hujjaj (volunteers to assist pilgrims during pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia) to the Hajj pilgrims so that at time of help they could contact volunteers. He said that MPSHC has obtained 15 pre-activated SIM cards from Saudi Arabia that would be handed over to the volunteers. The SIM cards have been checked and are in working condition. The step has been taken as it was the common complaint of pilgrims after returning from pilgrimage that volunteers never turn up, he added.

Ten Khadim-ul-Hujjaj who are in the state government service are being send with pilgrims by the Madhya Pradesh Government for their welfare.

He said that the responsibility of serving the pilgrims at the embarkation point at the airport and transit point has been assigned again to the Tablighi Jamaat volunteers who carried out their duty very well last year also when Bhopal came on the Hajj embarkation map of the country for the first time.

MPSHC Executive Officer Dawood Khan, who was also present at the Press conference, said nine flights which would take off from both Bhopal and Indore will carry 2,205 passengers each. He said that adding together seats available under different quotas 4,410 Hajj pilgrims would undertake pilgrimage this year from the State.

There is a substantial rise in the Hajj applications from the State. In all 16,184 applications were received by the state Hajj committee this year. The Hajj Committee of India has allotted 3374 seats in the open category.

Meanwhile, Hajj transit point in Bhopal at Taj-ul-Masajid complex is humming with activities where pilgrims along with their family members and friends are pouring in. They were seen arriving from various part of the state in flower bedecked motor vehicles.










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