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Govt redresses Haj pilgrims� grievances

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Sept 27 � Considering the hardship faced by the Haj pilgrims during the journey, the government has taken up several measures to redress their grievances. Round-the-clock control rooms would be established at Jeddah, Madina and New Delhi to help the people.

Journey of pilgrims from NE State for Haj 2011 is commencing from September 29, from Guwahati embarkation point at LGBI Airport.

Addressing a press meet here, Dr Nazrul Islam, Minister of Haj, etc., and chairman of the Joint State Haj Committee, said that the Ministry of Civil Aviation has introduced the provision of penalties against the airlines, who fail to cater to the needs of the pilgrims as per the operation manual, International Air Transportation Rules and the Pilgrims Carriage Regulation.

For past several years, the pilgrims of NE are facing problems like chaos at airport, hardship during the journey regarding passports, etc, and luggage misplacement among others.

The Haj flights would leave Guwahati at 7.10 pm everyday. NAS Air of Saudi Arabia has been entrusted with the task to carry the pilgrims.

This year, 3,955 aspirants have registered their names for the pilgrimage from the region, out of which 3,625 pilgrims, including four infants from Assam, 51 pilgrims from Meghalaya, 177 from Manipur and four from Nagaland have submitted their valid passports. The pilgrims are required to report at the Haji Musafirkhana, Islampur, Guwahati, two days before their journey. The pilgrims have started to come at the Haj camp from today.

"At the Haji Musafirkhana, we have the arrangements for 500 pilgrims at a time. Last year, the number of pilgrims exceeded much beyond that and that is why, they had to face the problems. We request all the pilgrims to come two days ahead of their scheduled journey to avoid any problem,� Dr Islam said. �The airport authorities have also created separate arrangements (pandal) for the pilgrims with all infrastructures. This time the booking of luggage, payment of foreign exchange, immigration and custom clearance would be done at the pandal itself and only security check would be done inside the airport building," he added.

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