Mangalore - Jeddah direct flights from this Haj season

07 September 2009

Mangalore city will join other cities in India and Bangalore in Karnataka that offer direct flights to Jeddah from this Haj season. Three flights will connect Mangalore to Jeddah and 1,800 Muslims undertaking Haj pilgrimage this year from this part of the state will benefit from this move, Hameed Kandak, member, All India Haj Committee (AIHC) and special training officer of AIHC announced here on Monday.

Kandak told reporters that an additional 1,000 Muslim pilgrims from Karnataka too stand a good chance of undertaking Haj pilgrimage this year. "The Union minister of state for external affairs Shashi Tharoor has assured to release 1,000 out of special quota of 3,000 allocated to him to Karnataka," he said adding this would take the number of Muslims from the state undertaking the pilgrimage to 7,500. This quota was 6,500 earlier, he said.

Noting that the Saudi government fixed the quota of number of pilgrims who could undertake the pilgrimage, Kandak said this was fixed at 1.72-lakh for India. The starting of direct Haj flights from Mangalore will benefit Muslims from Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Kasargod, Uttara Kannada and even Kodagu districts. The Muslims from these regions can now wear the Ihram in their respective homes before leaving for Haj, he said.

A transit camp would be set up near Bajpe airport for the benefit of pilgrims arriving for the pilgrimage, he said. The pilgrims coming from various places will not be boarding the flight at the same time and will have to wait their turn, he said adding that the transit camp will have all the facilities for the pilgrims. The local Haj committee will also conduct a Haj training camp for them immediately after Ramzan, Kandak added.

Making special mention of efforts made by the president of Dakshina Kannada District Congress Minority cell Mohiuddin Bawa for taking up the issue of starting direct flight with AICC president Sonia Gandhi and the ministers concerned, he said the direct flight is realization of a near three-decade old wait for people of this region for such a facility.
source times of india


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