Saudi Gazette report
JEDDAH — Authorities have chalked out an elaborate strategy to control the millions of worshipers in Makkah during the last ten days of Ramadan. Also, special care has been taken for the smooth organization of the Islamic solidarity conference in the holy city next week, Prince Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz, Minister of Interior and Chairman of the Supreme Haj Committee, has said.
In a statement issued Wednesday after presiding over the Haj committee’s meeting, Prince Ahmed said the Kingdom has vast experience in crowd management and as such “there was nothing to worry about in this regard.”
Moreover, he hoped that worshipers from the Kingdom and abroad will cooperate with the authorities and strictly follow the guidelines designed for their own safety and comfort.
With regard to those who perform Haj without obtaining a permit, Prince Ahmed said the government has been very strict in dealing with them. “They are offenders and will be responsible for the consequences,” he said, urging intending pilgrims to apply for permits in time.
Prince Ahmed also warned those who use the pious occasion of Haj for political purposes that they will be dealt with firmly and that no attempt to create divisions among the Ummah will be tolerated.
Talking about massive new projects at holy places, he said the aim is to increase the accommodation capacity for pilgrims and visitors during the Haj and Umrah seasons.
The Haj committee meeting, Prince Ahmed said, discussed new projects and their effectiveness in creating more room for pilgrims as well as facilities to provide ease and comfort to the millions of visitors to the holy places.
Meanwhile, the traffic department has announced a new traffic plan for the Aug. 14-15 Islamic summit in Makkah, when private cars will not be allowed to enter the city and people will have to use public transport.
The plan will be effective as of Monday morning (Aug. 13).
Maj. Gen. Abdul Rahman Al-Muqbil, director general of traffic, urged the public to cooperate with the plan set out for the successful organization of the summit.