Hajj 2019: Kashmiri pilgrims complain lack of facilities

State Hajj officials take up issue with Hajj Committee of India
Hajj 2019: Kashmiri pilgrims complain lack of facilities
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Hundreds of Hajj pilgrims from Kashmir have complained major deficiencies in lodging and transportation at Makkah in Saudi Arabia.

In a video that went viral on social media, the aggrievedpilgrims of "Azizia" category complain that power breakdown in their apartmentson Friday had caused huge inconvenience to them.

Under Azizia category, the lodging arrangement for thepilgrims is done a few kilometers from the holy Kaaba.

Several pilgrims staying in building numbers 55 (Aziziacategory) at Makkah complained of power breakdown for several hours amid thesweltering heat. "Both male and female pilgrims had to spend a long time on theroadside as the power supply which got snapped at 4 PM on Friday was notrestored for several hours," the pilgrims in the video said.

"With 47 degree Celsius temperature, we have been put up inan apartment where electricity is playing hide and seek. In addition poorcooling system and poor ventilation make us feel worst," a pilgrim narrates inthe video.

"Before leaving for Hajj, we were promised door-to-door busservice, which has not been done. The pick-up and drop points of buses takingus from our apartment to Kaaba have been arranged in such a fashion that wehave to walk by foot in this sweltering heat," said a pilgrim from Pampore.

Another pilgrim said, "The Hajj authorities have not livedup to their promises. While the group leaders and officials of other states areproactive, the designated officials for Jammu and Kashmir have been leastcooperative."

In the viral video, aggrieved pilgrims are seen urging theHajj officials accompanying them to make efforts for restoration of powersupply.

When contacted, Executive Officer, State Hajj Committee,Abdul Salaam Mir told Greater Kashmir that they have taken up the issues withthe Hajj Committee of India.

"Accommodation at Makkah and Madina is allocated by theConsulate General of India and the local Hajj authorities have no direct rolein it." Mir said.

"The apartments and hotels are allotted through an auto-generated process. In fact, before approving a building for housing the pilgrims, the Building Selection Committee makes a visit to the building," Mir said.

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