As many as 2617 out of 17189 intending Hajj pilgrims were selected through draw of lots for Hajj-2013 at a function held at Hajj House Bemina here today. It was informed that no travel agency is registered with State Hajj Committee for the year 2013.
The Minister for Public Enterprises, Floriculture, Hajj and Auqaf, Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed inaugurated the official website of State Hajj Committee www.jkshc.com on the occasion and observed that throughout the selection process, for all the districts of the state, website will be up to date.
As per a statement the Minister while addressing the function has said that the State Hajj Committee received 21692 applications this year from the intending Haj pilgrims for which Central Hajj Committee allotted a quota of 7120 seats for J&K State, out of which 1991 persons having attained 70 years of age while 2512 candidates who had applied four times to perform Hajj but were not selected have also been included in the reserved quota.
Keeping in view, the demand for more seats, the Minister has said that the State government has already approached Central government for increase of quota for the State and is expected that more seats shall be allotted for accommodating left out intending Hajj pilgrims of the State.
While advising the intending Hajj pilgrims not to seek any assistance from private tour and travel operators for obtaining Hajj seat, the Minister has clarified that the government is the only agency to send the people of the state for performing Hajj and there is no other agency operating for the purpose. Moreover, he has said that any private partner who intends to provide such services shall have to follow the norms and procedures laid down by Supreme Court of India and Central Hajj Committee. He has said, accordingly, such agencies will be registered by the government and shall be allowed to undertake the responsibility strictly as per the directions of the government so that the past fraudulent practice adopted by private tour operators shall be stopped henceforth.
Lauding State Hajj Committee for launching website, the Minister has hoped that people of the State need not make frequent visits to Hajj House but can avail all the necessary information and other guidelines regarding Hajj at their doorsteps.
Peerzada has said that government is putting in all out efforts to extend best possible facilities to the Hajj pilgrims, adding that there is always room for improvement and the suggestions of people in this regard are always appreciated.