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Preparations for hassle-free Hajj

Preparations for hassle-free Hajj

Dhaka, July 10 – The religious affairs ministry has completed all the preparation to make an example so that pilgrims can perform Hajj this year without any hassle. Many of the pilgrims have already arrived at Hajj camp in city’s Ashkona to go to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj.
No additional flights will be allowed this year as per Saudi government directives and the pilgrims have to go to Saudi Arabia on their scheduled flight as 24 dedicated hajj flights had cancelled so far last year, sources said.
Against this backdrop, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to inaugurate Hajj Programme 2018 today (Wednesday) at Ashkona.
“Around 1,000 pilgrims, who have scheduled flights to begin on Saturday, have already arrived at the Hajj camp. We have completed all preparations to receive pilgrims,” Syful Islam, director, Hajj Office in Ashkona told Journalists yesterday.
He said the departments concerned have also completed security checking as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate Hajj Programme-2018 today (Wednesday).
“We want to create an example this year so that pilgrims can perform Hajj in a better way without any trouble than the previous year,” Islam said in reply to a query.
According to Islam, some 6,114 pilgrims under government management and 13,400 under private managements have got their visas.
This year, a total of 1,27,198 pilgrims—7,198 under government management and 1,20,000 under private management—will perform Hajj from Bangladesh in Saudi Arabia.
Mohibul Haque, acting secretary of Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry, said as per the directives of Saudi Arabia no additional flights will be allowed this year. The pilgrims have to go to Saudi Arabia on their scheduled flight, he said.
Bangladesh Biman will carry 64,967 pilgrims through 187 flights while the rest 61,831 pilgrims will go to Saudi Arabia through 188 flights of Saudi Airlines this year, he said.
The national flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Saudi Arabian Airlines will carry the pilgrims on a fifty-fifty basis, Shakil Meraj, general manager (PR) of Biman told this correspondent.
According to civil aviation ministry, Bangladesh Biman has already sold 52,000 tickets on hajj purpose while Saudi Airlines sold 46,755 tickets.
The pilgrims will go to Saudi Arabia through 528 hajj agencies and the first flight carrying hajj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia is scheduled to begin on July 14 and continue till August 15 while the return hajj flight is scheduled to begin on August 27 and will continue till September 25.
The hajj is likely to be held on August 21 this year subject to the moon sighting.
Meanwhile, the government has formed a 23-member ‘National Hajj Management Committee’ led by the Prime Minister to oversee the implementation of the agreements signed under the National Hajj and Umrah Policy, 2018, and coordinate hajj activities.
The committee includes two Ministers, Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, 11 secretaries, Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) leaders and other high officials of the government. – Staff Reporter