Haj pilgrimage may get expensive this year. Pilgrims from the State might have to shell down more for the consecrated journey given the increased value of Saudi Riyal.

The Haj Committee of India is yet to decide on the amount to be paid for this year's Haj pilgrimage but it's Chief Executive Officer Syed Shaker Hussain said it could cost more. He was in the city on Tuesday and met members of the State Haj Committee to discuss and review the arrangements for draw of lots (Qurrah) and other issues.

Orientation

Speaking to media persons, he said the Haj Committee of India has made it compulsory for pilgrims selected for Haj to take training, which would be more of an orientation programme, from the district trainers.

Mr. Hussain said that this year approximately 3,11,000 applications were received from 30 States and Union territories. From the State, 16,752 applications have been received and the Qurrah for these applications would be held on May 10.

SIM cards

Giving details about the facilities, he said that talks were on with the government of Saudi Arabia for extending training facilities and also the possibility of issuing mobile phone SIM cards for Hajis before they start the pilgrimage from here. The Haj Committee of India had already identified accommodation for around 42,000 pilgrims and a reference guide would also be issued to them, he added.

Keywords: Haj pilgrimage