By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, August 17: “No sweat. This year we won’t let problems for Haj flight crop up like last year,” so said the North East Haj Pilgrim Reception Committee, 2015-16 at a press meet here today.
Addressing the media today, reception committee president Nekibur Zaman said: “Last year we had numerous problems for Haj flights. We’re not going to the let rerun of those problems this year. We have reached an agreement with Saudi Airlines -- FLYS. Haj pilgrims had to suffer because of uncertainty of flights for Haj pilgrims last year. The media, political parties and others also took the advantage to add colours to the incident. We won’t allow that to happen this year. All Haj pilgrims will leave Guwahati from August 20 to 31.”
Zaman said: “ The pilgrims’ camp at the Musafirkha will be opened on August 18. At 6.30 pm on August 19, all pilgrims will be felicitated and given a farewell at a function to be attended by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. There are as many as 4,014 pilgrims bound for Mecca --2,825 males, 1,188 females and an infant -- from Assam, galand and Meghalaya this year. Since all visas to the pilgrims will be cleared and given on August 19, all pilgrims will have to reach the Mushafirkha at least 24 hours before the farewell on August 19.”
Haj grants this year, according to Zaman, are of two categories -- Green category and Azizia category. “The grant for each pilgrim of Green category is Rs 2.1350 lakh and that of Azizia category is Rs 1.8300 lakh. The date of return of the pilgrims is October 2. There are tie-ups with HDFC and Induland banks for Forex issues. There are arrangements for security, water, food, accommodation, transportation to the airport etc. for pilgrims,” he said.
Reception committee general secretary Sajid Rahman said: “The number of Haj pilgrims has risen this year. We’re trying our best to make it hassle-free. There will be a Haj Fair at the Haj Musafirkha Idgah Maidan here. Entrepreneurs from Bangladesh will also take part in the fair. If anybody wants to lodge complaints, he/she has to contact the reception committee immediately.”