2 More Embarkation Points for Haj Fanfare

published on October 19, 2009

More embarkation points for Haj


New Delhi: Pilgrims undertaking Haj this year will have two more embarkation points, up from 17 last time, and will have to pay Rs 16,000 instead of Rs 12,000 last year. These decisions in relation to the month-long Haj pilgrimage beginning on Tuesday were taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here on Monday. The Haj operations would be carried out from 19 embarkation points as against 17 last year. Ranchi and Mangalore have been added as the new embarkation points this time to facilitate travel of the pilgrims from Jharkhand and Karnataka, an official spokesman said. Altogether 1,15,000 people will undertake the Haj this year under Government’s subsidy scheme. Last year, the number was 1,23,211. Under the subsidy scheme, each pilgrim will have to pay Rs 16,000 and the remaining cost will be borne by the Government. Last year, each Haji had to pay Rs 12,000. Sources in the Haj Committee, however, said the Cabinet decision on payment had come late as bookings have already been done at the rate of Rs 12,000. The remaining amount will now have to be recovered from the pilgrims, they said. The official spokesman said the Civil Aviation Ministry would be responsible for facilitating air travel for the pilgrims sponsored by the Haj Committee of India. The pilgrims would travel by Air India, Saudi Arabian Airlines and National Air Services of Saudi Arabia.

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