Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy will lay the foundation stone for the new Haj House near Shamshabad Airport. The new Haj House will come up on a 10 acre plot by next year, at a cost of Rs. 12.50 crore.

“The government has already released Rs. 3 crore for the purpose. All that remains is paper work,” said Minorities Welfare Minister Syed Ahmadullah.

Applications released

Releasing applications for Haj 2013 here on Wednesday, Mr. Ahmadullah said the Haj Committee had sought a Rs. 2 crore budget for 2013-14 and the Chief Minister was likely to approve it, the minister said.

He said the last date for submission of the Haj application was March 20. Those applying should have a passport valid upto March 31, 2014.

New Guidelines

As per the new guidelines, one can perform Haj through the Haj Committee only once in a lifetime. The applicants have to enclose an affidavit to this effect.

Those who complete 70 years on January 2013, and the fourth-time applicants will be selected under the reserved category. They too have to give an affidavit that they have not performed Haj through the Haj Committee or private tour operators, Mr. Ahmadullah said.

He said the State Haj quota was 5,566 but last year 7,500 performed Haj. The Minister promised to provide better facilities to pilgrims this year. Haj Committee chairman, Syed Khaleel Ahmed, was also present.

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