Haj So Far:
Union Minority Affairs Minister Abbas Naqvi on Sunday said a record 1.75 lakh pilgrims from India will go on Haj this year after the Centre increased the pilgrims’ quota for the second consecutive year.
“A total of 1,308 women applied for Haj pilgrimage without “Mehram”(male companion). All of them have been exempted from the lottery system and allowed to proceed for Haj.”
The aggregate pioneers this year incorporate 19,000 explorers from Delhi, 14,500 from Lucknow, 14,200 from Mumbai, 11,700 from Cochin, 11,610 from Kolkata, 8,950 from Srinagar, 7,600 from Hyderabad, 6,700 from Ahmedabad, 5,550 from Bengaluru, 5,500 from Jaipur and 5,140 from Gaya.
He said at least ₹ 57 crores less will be paid to airlines this year even after ending the Haj subsidy. A total of ₹ 973 crores will be paid to airlines for 1,28,002 pilgrims.
In 2017, the air fare for 1,24,852 Haj pilgrims totalled ₹ 1,030 crore.
The Minister said 355,604 applications were received for Haj this year, including 1,89,217 male and 1,66,387 female applicants.
The Minister said the Centre is reviving the option of sending Haj pilgrims through the sea route and Saudi Arabia had given a green signal to the move.
“Officials from India and Saudi Arabia are holding discussions on necessary formalities and technicalities so that Haj pilgrimage through the sea route can be started in the coming years.”
Mr Naqvi said for the first time, the choice of embarkation points has also been given to Haj pilgrims, which has received an overwhelming response.