Indian mission securing logistics for additional Haj pilgrims

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Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH —
Indian diplomatic authorities in the Kingdom have been making all preparations to extend services to the additional number of Haj pilgrims expected for the upcoming pilgrimage.

Like other countries, Indian officials have finalized the annual Haj contract with Kingdom and accordingly arrangements have been made in the holy sites for the pilgrims.

However, India was allowed an additional quota of 25,000 Haj pilgrims in February and it was officially confirmed last week. Since then Indian officials in Jeddah have been working to secure essential services for them.

“We are glad to note an increased Haj quota officially from the Saudi Haj Ministry,” said Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh, India’s consul general in Jeddah.

He told Saudi Gazette that quota increase was announced after a meeting of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman in New Delhi on Feb. 20 and recently the Haj Ministry officially confirmed the increase.

The consul general said the Indian Haj mission was working to secure accommodation, transportation and other logistic support for the increased number of pilgrims in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah as well as the holy sites.

Of the additional quota of 25,000 pilgrims, 70 percent was allocated for the official Central Haj Committee and the remaining 30 percent given to private tour operators.

In turn, the Central Haj Committee distributed the additional quota to various state Haj committees, according to the size of the Muslim population in respective states.

Based on the country’s Muslim population India was initially allocated a Haj quota of around 170,000. In 2018, 175,025 Indians performed Haj after the Saudi government increased the quota by 5,025 following a request from the government of India.

The figure further rose to 200,000 following the gesture by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman.


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