Friday, 26 May 2006

New category of accommodation for Indian Hajis

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, May 26: Haj travel this year will cost Rs 10,000 less with the Central Haj Committee carving out a new category of accommodation for Hajis in the Islamic holy city of Mecca.
The Haj Committee has added one more category to its existing four categories of accommodation to make Haj affordable even to general Muslim public. Under the new category, "Azeezia", Hajis from the country will be accommodated in buildings six to eight kilometres from the outer periphery of the Sacred Mosque in Mecca. The Committee, will however, provide free transport facility for such Hajis from their buildings to the Grand Mosque.
According to State Haj Committee chairperson Ghouse Mohiuddin, the total fee for Azeezia or category-V Hajis will be Rs 70,000 which is Rs 10,000 less than the fee collected from category-IV or "Sheesha" Hajis.
The Central Haj Committee finalised the fee structure for Haj 2006-II on Friday following which the AP State Haj Committee announced the schedule for the Islamic pilgrimage, which is taking place for the second time in a year. The Haj 2006-I was performed early in January and the Haj 2006-II will fall in the last week of December.
The committee will release application forms for intending pilgrims from Saturday. The last date for submission of the filled-in forms is June 27. Andhra Pradesh has been allocated a quota of 6385 pilgrims for this Haj season.
The category-I Haj will cost Rs 90,000 and the Hajis will be accommodated within a radius of 0 to 600 mts from the Sacred Mosque while the category-II pilgrims will be Rs 85,000 and the Hajis will be accommodated in buildings located 601 km to 850 km from the Sacred Mosque. The category-III and category-IV will cost Rs 80,000. Pilgrims opting for category-III will get buildings between 851 mts and 1000 mts from the mosque while category-IV pilgrims will be located 2.5 km to 3 km. However, they will get free transport facility.
Pilgrims will get insurance cover of Rs 3 lakh this year in case of accident.

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