Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah who is also Chairman of the State Hajj Committee on Thursday announced about ₹ 50 lakh grant to the Hajj Committee for providing free influenza vaccination to the Hajjis performing Hajj-2013.
Reviewing the arrangements for Hajj-2013 at a meeting of the reconstituted Hajj Committee, the Chief Minister said that all Hajjis performing Hajj this year should be given free influenza vaccination. The State Health Department would make necessary arrangements in this regard. It may be mentioned that Government of India had recommended for vaccinating Hajj aspirants against influenza. The cost of each doze of influenza vaccine is over ₹ 600 and it was to be borne by the Hajjis themselves. Now, by the announcement of the Chief Minister it will be free of cost to Hajjis.
Minister for Hajj and Auqaf, Peerzada Mohammad Sayed who is Vice Chairman of the Hajj Committee was also present in the meeting besides Members of the Committee which included Legislators Khalid Najeeb Suharwordy, Ali Mohammad Dar, Jhangir Mir, Dr. Shehnaz Ganai and Moulana Akhzar Hussain, Advocate Abdul Gani Dar, Haji Nisar Ali, Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Bhat, Peerzada Ghulam Jeelani, Feroz Ahmad, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Commissioner Secretary Revenue, Vinod Koul and Executive Officer, Hajj Committee, Feroz Ahmad Lone.
The Chief Minister while receiving the PowerPoint presentation made by CEO Hajj Committee, Fayaz Ahmad Lone on various aspects of arrangements put in place for smooth conduct of Hajj-2013, underscored the need for ensuring all facilities to the Hajj aspirants. He gave directions for befitting facilities for transportation, stay, departure and arrival of the Hajjis.
It was stated in the meeting that for the Hajj-2013 State Government has been allotted 8819 seats and no reduction has been made on the allotment due to the persuasion of Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah at the Central level. In fact, this year the State Government received more 71 seats as against the last year’s quota of 8748. Besides this the private operators will have their separate quota.
The meeting was informed that the selection of Hajj aspirants have been conducted by drawing of lots for the 21693 persons who had applied for Hajj-2013. As many as 1991 Hajj aspirants have been selected under Category A, 2512 under Category B and 4316 under General Category. The Category A is for Hajjis with 70 years and above age and the B Category is for Hajj aspirants applying for 4thtime in a row.
The Chief Minister was also briefed about the arrangements made at Srinagar Hajj House for the stay of the Hajjis. It was stated that the Hajj flights starting in September 2013 will fly directly from Srinagar Airport to Saudi Arabia and vice-versa.
The proceedings of the meeting started with the recitation of Quran by Moulana Akhzar Hussain after which participants were provided holy Abi-Zumzum.
Earlier, the Members of the reconstituted Hajj Committee re-elected Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah and Minister for Hajj and Auqaf, Peerzada Mohammad Sayed as the Chairman and the Vice Chairman of the State Hajj Committee unanimously.