A Government of India delegation led by Ministry of Minority Affairs Secretary Sailesh to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia yesterday reviewed the arrangements for Hajj-2019 for Indian pilgrims and discussed ways of improving arrangements for Hajj-2020.
Minority Affairs Secretary, who is on a four-day visit to Saudi Arabia, discussed about Makkah Route Initiative, ways of reducing waiting time for pilgrims at airport during arrival & departure, SIM cards for the pilgrims, Hajj-visa process, pilgrims’ accommodation norms, arrangements in Mashaer region and flight operations.
The delegation, accompanied by Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General Mr Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh & Consul (Hajj) Mr Y. Sabir, held several meetings with Officials of Ministry of Hajj and Umrah of the Kingdom including Deputy Hajj Ministers Dr. Abdulfattah Mashat and Dr. Hussein Al-Sharif, Director General Engineering Marwaan bin Husni Al Sulaimani as well as Chairman of the South Asian Moassassa Dr. Rafat Ismail Badr.
The Secretary thanked the Government of the Kingdom for enhancing India’s Hajj quota to 200,000 as well as extending full cooperation to Indian Officials involved in Hajj operations. The Officials of Ministry of Hajj and Umrah and the South Asian Moassassa also expressed their appreciation for the various arrangements made by the Indian Hajj Management for Indian pilgrims, specially pre-tagging of baggages which drastically reduced waiting time for pilgrims at airport. They also appreciated the medical facilities and accommodation arrangements made available for Indian pilgrims.
After a detailed Power Point presentation by Consul General, feedback was taken from the Indian Administrative and Medical Officers who are on deputation to Saudi Arabia and have been working in the field to provide best possible assistance to the Indian Hajis.
The delegation also visited Indian Hajj Pilgrims’ Office-cum-Dispensary at Jeddah Haj Terminal and interacted with Indian pilgrims at the Terminal who were returning to India after a successful Haj.
A press statement by the Indian Consulate in Jeddah said that, India’s Hajj-2019 operation was smooth and incident-free. Record number of two lakh Indian pilgrims performed Haj in 2019. While 1.40 lakh pilgrims came through Haj Committee of India, remaining 60,000 came through Haj Group Operators. About 65 per cent of Indian pilgrims have already returned to India after successful Haj. Return of Indian pilgrims is going on and will continue till 15th of September.