2 lakh Indian Muslims including 48 per cent women will go to Haj this year: Union Minister for Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

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Union Minister for Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said that record number of 2 lakh Indian Muslims will go to Haj this year, that too without any subsidy, through more than 500 flights from 21 embarkation points across the country.

While addressing a meeting of representatives of Private Tour Operators (PTOs) at Haj House in Mumbai today, Shri Naqvi said that while 1 lakh 40 thousand Haj pilgrims will go through Haj Committee of India, 60 thousand Haj pilgrims will go through PTOs. All the PTOs will have to take 10 thousand Haj pilgrims on the rates decided by Haj Committee of India only.

To ensure transparency and convenience to the Haj pilgrims, a portal of PTOs–http://haj.nic.in/pto/ (Portal For Haj Group Organisers) has been developed containing all the details of PTOs, their packages etc. A total of 725 PTOs will take Haj pilgrims this year, Minister said.

Shri Naqvi said that safety and better facilities are top priority of the Government and no negligence will be tolerated in this regard. This year, three PTOs have been blacklisted after the Ministry of Minority Affairs received serious complaints against these PTOs. Strict action had been taken against several PTOs last year also.

Shri Naqvi said that the number of women Haj pilgrims going without “Mehram” (male companion) has been increased this year. 2,340 Muslim women from India will go for Haj without “Mehram” this year. 2 lakh Indian Haj pilgrims include about 48 per cent women.

Shri Naqvi said that Saudi Arabia’s decision to increase India’s Haj quota to 2 lakh has ensured that for the first time since Independence, all the Haj applicants from all big states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar will go to Haj 2019 as their waiting lists have been cleared due to increase in Haj quota.

Minister further said that making the entire Haj process completely online/digital has not only ensured that Haj pilgrimage becomes cheaper even after removal of Haj subsidy, it has also made the Haj process absolutely pro-pilgrims.

A total of 14 health centres (11 in Makkah and 3 in Madina) have been established. Besides, 3 hospitals in Makkah and 1 hospital in Madina have been established to ensure proper health facilities to Haj pilgrims. A total of 620 Haj coordinators, Assistant Haj Officers, Haj Assistants, Doctors, Paramedics etc have been deployed which include a large number of women.

Flights for Haj 2019 will start from 04th July 2019. On 04th July, flights will start from Delhi, Gaya, Guwahati and Srinagar. Besides, Haj pilgrims will go from Bengaluru (07th July), Calicut (07th July), Cochin (14th July), Goa (13th July), Mangalore (17th July), Mumbai (14th and 21st July), Srinagar (21st July).

In the second phase, flights will go from Ahmedabad (20th July), Aurangabad (22nd July), Bhopal (21st July), Chennai (31st July), Hyderabad (26th July), Jaipur (20th July), Kolkata (25th July), Lucknow (20th July), Nagpur (25th July), Ranchi (21st July) and Varanasi (29th July).