BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday announced that a Haj house will soon be constructed in the Capital for the benefit of pilgrims.Land for the Haj house has already been identified and construction work will be started soon, the Chief Minister said while felicitating Haj-bound pilgrims from Odisha, who are set to go to Mecca, at a function here.Stating that the State Government is committed to the welfare of people belonging to minority communities, the Chief Minister wished the pilgrims a safe and smooth journey.
All arrangements have been made for the pilgrims at the embarkation point at Kolkata airport, Naveen said and added that the State Government is trying for an embarkation point at Bhubaneswar airport. Besides, 100 other multipurpose community centres will be set up for their benefit, he said and added that the State Government has sanctioned `five crore for development of educational institutions meant for the children of minority communities.
The State Haj Committee has selected 688 pilgrims, including 200 women, from Odisha this year. They were selected from among total 1,133 applicants, who evinced interest to go for Haj, scheduled from September 2.
Of the total pilgrims, 572 were selected through qurrah, a computerised lottery draw organised by the committee on its premises in Cuttack on Wednesday. The 116 other pilgrims were selected directly, according to the guidelines of the Haj Committee.
Minister for ST and SC Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare Ramesh Majhi, BJD MLAs Ayub Khan and Debasis Samantray, president of Odisha Film Development Corporation Munna Khan and senior officials were present.