Record 168,000 Indians to go for Haj this year

October 27th, 2008 - 2:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Oct 27 (IANS) The Indian consulate in Jeddah is gearing up its resources to receive a record 168,000 Indians coming for the Haj pilgrimage this year.India’s Consul General in Jeddah Sayeed Ahmed Baba told the local media that of the around 168,000 pilgrims, 123,211 would come through the Haj committee, while the rest would come through private tour operators.

“The first flight of Indian pilgrims will arrive in Saudi Arabia Oct 30. The Indian mission is fully geared to provide them with the best possible services,” Baba was quoted as saying.

He added that Indian pilgrims would be flying in on Air India and Saudi Arabian Airlines flights from 17 Indian cities.

The Indian government has deputed five senior government officers as coordinators, 135 doctors, 146 paramedics, 51 assistant Haj officers and 171 Haj assistants to take care of the pilgrims.

The consul general said his mission has been able to arrange accommodation for all pilgrims from India within the traditional boundaries of Mina.

While 51,171 Indian pilgrims will stay in the vicinity of Haram, 31,422 will be put up in Aziziyah.

Hai Al-Hijra, a new area, will accommodate 12,876 pilgrims.

Dawar Khudai will accommodate 9,522 pilgrims, Shisha 9,426 in Shisha Nuzha 460.

On an average, 12 flights daily would be carrying about 3,600 pilgrims per day till Dec 2 from the following embarkation points in India: Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Srinagar, and Varanasi.

Last year, 157,000 Haj pilgrims came from India to Saudi Arabia.

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