Jammu, Oct 21: As the Government failed to concede the demand of having direct flights from Jammu to Delhi for the Hajj pilgrims of this region, many intending Hajjis from Rajouri district are going to Srinagar via Mughal Road to save their time.
Sources said that out of 70 Hajj pilgrims scheduled to leave today as the part of second batch, about 50 of them traveling in private vehicles took Mughal route to reach Srinagar instead of going via Jammu.
They said, three buses of State Road Transport Corporation reached the town but only 20 pilgrims boarded the corporation vehicles for Jammu, while 50 went directly to Srinagar via Mughal Road in their private vehicles accompanied by relatives.
"Only 20 Hajjis from Rajouri today left for Jammu in three SRTC buses while others went through Mughal Road" sources said adding that similarly maximum number of pilgrims of first batch went to Srinagar via newly constructed road..
In the first batch, sources said, out of total 35 Hajj pilgrims only eight went to Jammu in government vehicles, while rest 27 opted to go Srinagar via Mughal Road in their private vehicles.
It may be mentioned here that nearly 218 Hajjis are scheduled to go for the Holy pilgrimage from this border district alone.
"We have been repeatedly requesting the coalition government to send Hajjis of Jammu province directly to New Delhi instead of sending them first to Jammu and then to Srinagar which wastes two days and a lot of money. But our requests met with deaf ears," said Muhammed Imran Malik, relative of a Hajj pilgrim said
He said traveling through Mughal road will take five hours to reach Srinagar which will save the time and money of the pilgrims who have to travel a long distance onward to perform the Hajj.
"Intending Hajjis from any district of Jammu region had to first go to Jammu and only next day he leaves for Srinagar and after waiting for one there he leaves for New Delhi. This makes the journey of pilgrims hectic, particularly that of elderly persons. We want that government should send Jammu Hajj pilgrims directly to New Delhi to save them from unnecessary harassment," said Naib Mufti-e-Azam (Jammu region) Mufti Nazir Ahmed of Wafakul Ulema.
Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri, Ghulam Ahmed Khawaja said most of the Hajjis prefer to go via Mughal road to Srinagar since they reach there in three or four hours.
"The journey to Jammu and then to Srinagar takes atleast two days, while Mughal road is the shorter route. The pilgrims are opting for the Mughal route on their own and administration has no role in it. We cannot send the pilgrims through this route as the road is not officially opened yet," the DC said.