Exorbitant transport charges from Bemina to Srinagar Airport irks Hajj pilgrims

File photo of Hajj house Srinagar [Representational Image]
File photo of Hajj house Srinagar [Representational Image]

Srinagar, May 19: Many Hajj pilgrims have expressed resentment against the Hajj Committee for charging Rs 900 as transport charges from Hajj House Bemina to Srinagar Airport.

Muhammad Anjum, a pilgrim, said that recently authorities issued a notification for these charges, which he said are too much for a short trip.

“Even if we book a good cab and carry our luggage, it will not even cost us half of it. With no regulation, authorities are charging exorbitant amount in the name of transport charges. This doesn’t even include boarding, lodging facilities as there are extra charges for the same,” Anjum said.

Another pilgrim said that if there is no refreshment or any special arrangement, why are the charges this high?. “If we count the charges of all the J&K pilgrims, it amounts to just under Rs one crore rupees. I don’t think there are so many arrangements needed that require this much money,” said another pilgrim.

As per the notification of J&K Hajj Committee, all the Hajj pilgrims will have to deposit these charges in the designated account numbers.

“It is for the information of all selected Hajj Pilgrims that they shall deposit the Hajj arrangement dues, which includes Transport charges from Hajj House to Airport and other handling charges to be incurred by J&K Hajj Committee as per the details given below,” reads the notification.

“Pilgrims who do not want to avail boarding/lodging facility at Hajj House, Srinagar shall pay Rs 900 per pilgrim only. Pilgrims belonging to Kashmir/Jammu Division who want to avail the boarding lodging facility at Hajj House, Srinagar shall have to pay an amount of Rs 500 per night in addition to Rs 900 (i.e. 900+500-Rs.1400/-),” reads the notification.

Executive officer J&K Hajj Committee Abdul Salam Mir said that the charges are for bus service and other arrangements.

“We have to manage  luggage in containers and also deploy home guards. In addition to this, there is documentation work, and that is why we have asked for these charges. It is only Rs 50  higher than the previous year,” Mir said.

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