First group of Indian Haj pilgrims arrive in Madinah

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Saudi Gazette report

MADINAH — The first chartered flight carrying Indian pilgrims for the upcoming Haj landed at Prince Muhammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah Thursday morning.

Indian Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh and Haj Consul Y. Sabir received the pilgrims on arrival at the airport.

The plane that took off from Delhi late Wednesday night carried 419 pilgrims.

Officials of the Indian Haj Mission said all the pilgrims were in good health and were given accommodation close to the Prophet’s Mosque in the central area of Madinah. The pilgrims will stay in the Prophet's City for eight days and will move to Makkah on July 12.

Out of a total of 1,40,000 people performing the pilgrimage under the aegis of the Haj Committee of India, about 63,000 will arrive in Madinah by July 21 and the remaining 77,000 will arrive in Jeddah between July 20 and Aug. 5. The Haj will take place tentatively from Aug. 8 to Aug. 14.

Necessary arrangements have been put in place to provide maximum comfort to the pilgrims. The embassy and the consulate have deployed sufficient manpower for the smooth movement of the pilgrims and their baggage to their respective buildings.

An office is functioning round-the-clock at Madinah airport to assist arriving Indian pilgrims.

For the first time, rooms have been allotted to the pilgrims for their stay in Madinah prior to the departure from India. The pre-allotment has drastically cut down the time required for the movement of the pilgrims and check-in procedures at hotels and apartment buildings. In Makkah, the pre-allotment has been in effect for many years.

Also, for the first time, the Haj Committee of India has put tags on the baggage of the pilgrims marking the building details along with the room number allotted to them.

The ambassador and consul general visited the accommodations and oversaw the arrival of the pilgrims there.

Besides its main office and three branch offices, the Indian Haj Mission has set up one 10-bedded dispensary and three branch dispensaries in localities where the pilgrims are staying in Madinah.

In addition to a main office, the Indian Haj Mission has

16 branch offices in Makkah. The mission also runs three hospitals with a total of 80 beds and 16 dispensaries in the holy city. A branch office and a dispensary have been set up at the Haj Terminal in Jeddah.

The hospitals, dispensaries and offices will be fully functional round-the-clock.

Indian pilgrims landing in Jeddah will start moving to Madinah from Aug. 19 after performing the Haj. They will then depart for their respective destinations in India from Prince Muhammad Airport in Madinah after an eight-day stay in the Prophet's City.

The pilgrims arriving in Madinah will leave for home from Jeddah starting Aug. 16. The departure phase will continue until Sept. 14.

In Jeddah, the first Haj flight from India will arrive on July 20 from Ahmedabad.

However, pilgrims ferried by private tour operators started arriving in Jeddah on Thursday.