First batch of Haj pilgrims leave Vijayawada

Arrangements made to send 1,814 pilgrims directly to Haj from AP between June 7 and 19
For the first time, pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh left for the holy Haj Wednesday morning from the embarkation point at Gannavaram Airport | Express
For the first time, pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh left for the holy Haj Wednesday morning from the embarkation point at Gannavaram Airport | Express

VIJAYAWADA:  First batch of 170 Haj pilgrims left for Jeddah on ASG 5007 flight from the Vijayawada International Airport in Gannavaram on Wednesday. This is the first time that pilgrims have embarked on the pilgrimage from Vijayawada.

The decision to send pilgrims from Gannavaram was taken on the instructions of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. Arrangements have been made to send 1,814 pilgrims directly to Haj this year from June 7 to 19. They will all return to the State on July 17 after completing their 41-day pilgrimage.

In addition to the travel cost, the government has given Rs 80,000 to each of the pilgrims as financial assistance, totalling to Rs 14.51 crore.

A temporary Haj House has been set up under the auspices of the State Haj Committee at Madrasa A Sirajul-Uloom in Nambur on the Guntur-Vijayawada highway. Airport authorities have made arrangements to scan the pilgrims’ luggage at the Madrasa itself and take it directly to the airport. Additionally, State transport corporation (APSRTC) has arranged four AC buses to facilitate travel from the Madrasa to the airport.

District collector M Venugopal Reddy made all the necessary arrangements for the pilgrims at the temporary Haj House. A 24x7 control room and a medical camp have also been set up.

Deputy Chief Minister (Minority Welfare) Amzath Basha and Hajj Committee chairman BS Ghousal Azam have been supervising the arrangements at the Haj House for the past one week. 

The Deputy CM said, “The first flight to Jeddah with 170 pilgrims took off from the Vijayawada International Airport on Wednesday morning. The pilgrims were taken to Gannavaram in special buses from the Haj House at 5 am. Two more vehicles followed them with their luggage.” 

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Chief Minister, who worked hard to arrange the embarkation point in Vijayawada, and to the airport authorities who cooperated,” Amzath Basha 
further added.

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