Zamzam water to be distributed among Haj pilgrims

March 15th, 2008 - 12:25 am ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) The government of Saudi Arabia has agreed to allow India to transport holy zamzam water in bulk in the wake of troubles the Haj pilgrims faced in receiving it this year, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said Friday. Admitting that the Haj pilgrims this year had to face some problems due to a “mismatch” in communications, Mukherjee said the government had taken up the matter with Saudi Arabian authorities.

“The Saudi Arabian government has agreed to allow India to transport the zamzam water in bulk as a one-time exception. Diplomatic missions will make arrangements to bring it here and it will be distributed to all registered Haj pilgrim centres and then to the registered pilgrims,” Mukherjee said in the Lok Sabha.

The minister pointed out that the airlines do not permit carrying the holy water in bulk.

Raising the matter, Ramjilal Suman of the Samajwadi Party said this year several Haj pilgrims had not received the holy zamzam water which they consider as a precious gift from Makkah. The pilgrims also faced lots of hardships due to the last-minute rescheduling of flights.

“They also faced much trouble at the airport over the issue of luggage,” Suman said.

The Samajwadi Party member demanded that the Central Haj Committee office should be relocated to Delhi from Mumbai as the Haj pilgrims have stopped traveling by ships since 1992.

“The Haj Committee should be given the statutory status,” he said.

Last year, 157,000 Indians performed the Haj while 110,000 of them availed the government facilities.

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