First batch of Haj pilgrims leaves for Mecca

The first batch of 146 Haj pilgrims from Karnataka left for Madina and Mecca from Mangaluru International Airport on Saturday.

They were among 432 pilgrims from Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Hassan and Chikkamagaluru districts who are scheduled to leave for the pilgrimage from the airport in three days from Saturday. They will go in three chartered flights.

This is for the first time the pilgrims are going on the pilgrimage without subsidy from the Union government.

As many as 1.73 lakh persons will undertake pilgrimage from India this year of which 6,624 are going through the Karnataka State Haj Committee.

Pilgrims from the State will leave from airports in Mangaluru, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Goa. As many as 270 pilgrims from Belagavi and Uttara Kannada will travel from Dabolim Airport in Goa from July 26 to July 28. Pilgrims from different parts of the State will go in 19 flights from Kempegowda International Airport from August 1 to August 15. Haj pilgrims from Bidar, Kalaburagi, Raichur and Yadgir districts will leave from Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad.

At a farewell function held at a school in Bajpe, Food and Civil Supplies and Haj Minister B.Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan asked wealthy members of the Muslim community to donate funds for Haj travel to support poor members of the community.

Mr. Ahmed said he has been sending people to Haj since 2006. He was sponsoring travel of 54 pilgrims this year. The cost for each pilgrim was around Rs. 2.5 lakh.

Haj Bhavan

Mr. Khan said construction of a Haj Bhavan in Mangaluru was delayed because of litigation in the land earmarked for the purpose. “On Friday, I visited the land in Adyar and the owner has agreed to sell it at a nominal price. Hope to finalise the deal shortly and construct the Bhavan,” he said. The government has released Rs. 10 crore for Haj Bhavan in Mangaluru, he said.

Mr. Khan and Urban Development and Housing Minister U.T. Khader handed over to pilgrims the passports and packets of fruits on the occasion.

Source: Read Full Article