KOCHI: The State Haj Committee has asked the Central Government and the Central Haj Committee to allot haj quota to Kerala in proportion to the number of applicants from other states. At a press conference at the Cochin International Airport, state Haj Committee chairman Thodiyur Muhammedkunju Moulavi said, out of the total haj pilgrims from the country, around 21 per cent of the haj applicants were from Kerala.
But the state has not been getting consideration in proportion to the representation of the state. The Centre should consider the request of the state when the Haj manifesto for next five years is renewed this year, he said. From next year onwards, a global tender has to be floated to decide the airline companies to take the pilgrims from the country to Saudi and the state haj committees have to be given permission for this, he said.
Muhammedkunju Moulavi said the haj embarkation point from Karipur airport has to be restored from next year. The state government should give adequate emphasis to the request. The haj pilgrims who left for the pilgrimage at Madeena had to face difficulties this year. The Central Haj Committee has been providing 700 Riyal for each pilgrim for their accommodation. But this year, the accommodation was given at a place which was around 2 km from the pilgrimage site. Besides, the buildings were in a shabby condition.
Later, when the issue was brought to the attention of the authorities, the Consulate General had directed to give back 350 Riyal to the affected pilgrims. The amount would be given to them through the State Haj Committee, he said, adding the authorities should ensure such incidents are not repeated. The state Haj Committee has requested the Central Haj Committee to hold an investigation into the incident and the officer in charge who arranged the accommodation. However, only a few pilgrims had to face some hardships, while majority of the pilgrims had performed the pilgrimage with full satisfaction, he said. The state Haj Committee also thanked the Cochin International Airport Ltd for arranging facilities at the airport for the pilgrims.
Haj pilgrimage concludes
Kochi :This year’s Haj pilgrimage concluded with the arrival of the last batch of pilgrims by 11.30 am at the Cochin International Airport on Wednesday. A total of 11,745 pilgrims returned to the state by 39 flights. Some of the pilgrims returned on their own, ahead of schedule. A woman is staying back due to ill-health, a state Haj committee office-bearer said. Of the 11,807 pilgrims from Kerala, Lakshadweep and Mahe, 13 pilgrims died while at the holy city.