Jeddah (IINA) - The electronic registration, introduced for the first time for domestic pilgrims for the upcoming Hajj, has been instrumental in putting an end to cheating of citizens and expatriates by fake Hajj service providers as well as charging of exorbitant fees from the pilgrims, Saudi Gazette reported.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah started the registration process on July 24 (Dhul Qada 1) as part of its ambitious electronic path, introduced in 2015. The electronic path has contributed significantly in streamlining the Hajj application process and putting an end to disputes between parties involved in Hajj contracts. Meanwhile, Makkah municipality has deployed 23,050 people to implement its Hajj plan, according to Mayor Osama Al-Bar. He said the municipality has mobilized all its human and technical potentials to provide the guests of God with consummate services.
The mayor said the municipality has supplied its 10 branch municipalities and 27 service centers in the holy sites with all the requirements that will enable them carry out their duties perfectly during the Hajj. Al-Bar said more than 13,000 workers will be cleaning Makkah and the holy sites using the most modern equipment. He said supervisors from the municipality will be monitoring more than 35,000 shops and restaurants in Makkah to ensure that the food served to the pilgrims and the commodities sold to them are healthy and safe.
The mayor said the supervisors will also be supervising over 1,110 barbers in Mina and will closely follow up the network of roads, water drainage system, lighting and other civic services. Albar said the municipality personnel will also closely observe the operation and maintenance of slaughterhouses in Muaisem which have a daily capacity of more than half a million heads of sheep. We are watching the roads, tunnels, toilets and the lighting in Makkah and the holy sites for the welfare of the pilgrims, he said.
The mayor said the municipality also have emergency teams to deal with fires, rains, floods and landslides.
As many as 728,098 pilgrims have so far arrived in the Kingdom, of whom 54 have died. Of the total, 713,656 pilgrims have arrived by air through King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah and Prince Muhammad Bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah. The pilgrims who have so far arrived are more by 110,428 (18 percent) over their number the same time last year. Some 4,500 pilgrims from Yemen, out of 24,255, have arrived in Makkah and were welcomed by the Yemeni Minister of Endowments and Guidance Ahmed Attiyah and a number of officials from the Tawafa Establishment for Arab Pilgrims. The Yemeni pilgrims arrived through southern border posts but the Houthi rebels have confiscated the passports of about 2,000 of them preventing them from arriving in the Kingdom on time.
Deputy Emir of Makkah, Prince Abdullah Bin Bandar, has instructed setting up of a committee to check the suitability and safety of the buildings licensed to accommodate pilgrims. The committee will comprise representatives from Makkah Governorate, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the Civil Defense and Tawafa establishments in addition to a number of private engineers and technicians.
About 500 youths from Makkah have volunteered to serve the pilgrims, particularly aged and the disabled. They will be working in shifts round-the clock to help pilgrims reach Grand Mosque from their residences and alsohelp them perform tawaf (circumambulation of the Holy Kaaba).
Source: International Islamic News Agency