Mumbai, Dec 10: Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has said that the last date for submission of application forms for Haj 2021 has been extended up to 10th January 2021. Embarkation Points-wise estimated cost per Haj pilgrim has also been reduced. Naqvi was addressing a press conference after chairing a meeting of Haj Committee of India at Haj House, Mumbai, today.
Naqvi said that today, that is, 10th December 2020 was supposed to be the last date for submission of application forms for Haj 2021 and now it has been extended up to 10th January 2021.
More than 40,000 applications have been received for Haj 2021 till now, including more than 500 applications under women without “Mehram” category. More than 2100 women had applied for Haj 2020 under ‘without “Mehram” (male companion)’ category. These women will go to Haj 2021 as the application filled by them for Haj 2020 is valid for Haj 2021 also. Besides, new forms are also being accepted from the women, who want to perform Haj 2021 without “Mehram”. All the women under “without Mehram” category will be exempted from the lottery system. The people are applying online, offline and through Haj Mobile App.
Naqvi said that after thorough discussions according to Embarkation Points and feedback received from Saudi Arabia; the Embarkation Points-wise estimated cost per Haj pilgrim has been reduced.
The estimated cost per Haj pilgrim after reduction is approximately Rs. 3,30,000/- for Ahmedabad and Mumbai Embarkation points; approximately Rs 3,50,000/- for Bengaluru, Lucknow, Delhi and Hyderabad Embarkation Points; approximately Rs 3,60,000/- for Cochin and Srinagar Embarkation Points; approximately Rs 3,70,000/- for Kolkata Embarkation Point and approximately Rs 4 lakh for Guwahati Embarkation Point.
Naqvi said that national-international Protocol Guidelines due to Pandemic Position will be implemented and followed strictly during the Haj 2021. Shri Naqvi said that Haj 2021 is scheduled for June-July 2021, and the entire Haj process is being held according to the necessary guidelines issued by the Saudi Arabia Government and the Government of India in view of Corona Pandemic to ensure health and well-being of the people in India and Saudi Arabia.
He said that the Haj 2021 process has been chalked out after deliberations among the Union Ministries of Minority Affairs, Health, External Affairs, Civil Aviation; Haj Committee of India, Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia and India’s Consul General in Jeddah and other agencies keeping in view all aspects of the pandemic challenges.
Naqvi said that the arrangements for Haj 2021 have been made under special circumstances with special norms, rules and regulations, eligibility criteria, age restrictions, health and fitness requirements and other relevant conditions of the Saudi Arabia Government amid the Corona pandemic. The entire Haj travel process has been done with significant changes in view of the pandemic. These include accommodation, period of stay of pilgrims, transportation, health and other facilities both in India and Saudi Arabia. All the necessary guidelines for Haj 2021 amid Pandemic position from the Saudi Arabia Government will be implemented strictly. There may be changes in age criteria for performing Haj due to the Corona pandemic. Each pilgrim will have to undergo Corona test 72 hours before Haj journey as per prevailing international air travel protocol. Each pilgrim will have to submit a PCR test certificate issued by approved laboratory with a negative result before journey to Saudi Arabia.
In view of the Pandemic position and feedback received from Air India and other agencies, embarkation points for Haj 2021 have been reduced to 10. Earlier, there were 21 Haj embarkation points across the country. For Haj 2021, the 10 embarkation points are- Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Cochin, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Srinagar.
Ahmedabad embarkation point will cover entire Gujarat; Bengaluru will cover entire Karnataka; Cochin (Kerala, Lakshadweep, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Andaman & Nicobar); Delhi (Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh; Chandigarh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, western districts of Uttar Pradesh); Guwahati (Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Nagaland); Kolkata (West Bengal, Odisha, Tripura, Jharkhand, Bihar); Lucknow (all parts of Uttar Pradesh except western parts); Mumbai (Maharashtra, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli) and Srinagar embarkation point will cover Jammu-Kashmir, Leh-Ladakh-Kargil.
Senior officials of the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs; Haj Committee of India CEO M. A. Khan and other officials were present in the meeting today.