Safety and better facilities, medical facilities for the pilgrims is the priority of the Government and there will be no lackadaisical approach on the matter said
Union Minister for Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. He announced Haj 2019 at Haj House, Mumbai, today. On the occasion Minister said that, it is for the first time that preparations for next year’s Haj (2019) has been started immediately after completion of the current year’s Haj process (2018).
Shri Naqvi said online application process for Haj 2019 will be started from tomorrow 18th October, while offline application process will start from 22nd October, 2018. A total of 3,55,604 applications had been received for Haj 2018 which included 1,89,217 male and 1,66,387 female applicants.
The Minister said that early start of Haj process will ensure better facilities as well as smooth Haj process as the concerned agencies, both in India and Saudi Arabia, will get sufficient time for arrangements. Process of airlines tender will be completed by November and accommodation process in Makkah and Madina will be completed by December-January. The accommodation rates in Saudi Arabia will be same as it was in 2018. All 20 embarkation points will be functional and Haj pilgrims will also be able to go from Calicut airport.
He added that Haj 2018 was pro-pilgrims even after removal of Haj subsidy. Elimination of middlemen and 100 percent online and transparent system ensured that even after removal of Haj subsidy, there was no unnecessary financial burden on pilgrims.
In 2017, a total of Rs 1030 crore was paid to airlines for air fare for 1,24,852 Haj pilgrims. Whereas, in 2018, a total of Rs 973 crore were paid to airlines for 1,28,702 Haj pilgrims, going through Haj Committee of India. It means, Rs 57 crore less was paid to airlines this year even after ending the Haj subsidy.
Shri Naqvi said that Haj 2018 was successful. For the first time after the Independence, a record number of 1,75,025 Muslims from India performed Haj this year and that too without any subsidy. We are hopeful that Indian Muslims will go in large number for Haj 2019 in comparison to the Haj 2018.
On the occasion, Shri Naqvi inaugurated 'Viewers' Gallery' at Haj House and unfurled monumental National Flag on the roof top of Haj House, Mumbai.
This Monumental Indian National flag of size 20 feet by 30 feet on the high mast of 20-meter height has been installed on the rooftop of Haj House making it 350 feet high from ground level.
It is believed that this will be the highest tricolour installed on terrace of any building with such height (116 meter from the sea level).