A new complex planned for Haj pilgrims in Delhi

July 8th, 2008 - 11:07 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 8 (IANS) Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Tuesday laid the foundation stone of a Rs.300-million complex to house Haj pilgrims at Dwarka here. The project is expected to be completed in 18 months. “The present Haj Manzil at Asaf Ali Road is inadequate to accommodate large numbers of Haj ‘yatris’ (pilgrims) coming to Delhi. The government has to make arrangements for boarding and lodging for about a month, which is not as comfortable as it would be in the new spacious Haj Manzil,” said Dikshit.

The new complex would come up near the international airport and inter-state bus terminus.

“Delhi has traditionally been the biggest congregation and embarkation point for the Haj ‘yatris’ from northern India towards their pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. More than 20,000 yatris come to Delhi annually,” a Delhi government spokesperson said.

The new building would include a mosque, a computer centre, bank extension counter, canteen facility, conference room, CCTVs and other facilities. The complex will also have two levels of underground parking.

“The building will also have airlines offices and all boarding formalities will be completed at Haj Manzil itself,” the spokesperson added.

The annual Haj pilgrimage is held in the holy city of Makkah and is the largest regular religious gathering in the world. The Haj is one of the five basic obligations of a Muslim. Every Muslim who has the means is exhorted to perform the pilgrimage at least once in his lifetime.

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