Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Government will soon construct Haj houses at Varanasi and Ghaziabad to help devotees going for the annual pilgrimage, State PWD Minister and Chairman of the State Haj Committee Naseemuddin Siddiqui said on Sunday.

“The construction work at the two places would start soon and this would help Hajis from western U.P. districts and Uttarakhand to depart from Ghaziabad instead of Turkman Gate in Delhi,” Mr. Siddiqui said.

A Haj house has arrangements for foreign exchange, immigration and other amenities for pilgrims.

Mr. Siddiqui said it was for the first time in the State that lottery system had been introduced to select pilgrims from each district. “The quota of pilgrims for each district has been fixed on the basis of population there. The Haj committee has received 59,543 applications, while U.P.’s quota stands at 28,178 pilgrims only,” he added.