2018-07-10 12:08:03 BdST

Hajj flight begins on July 14


Hajj flights carrying Bangladeshi pilgrims to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj this year will begin on July 14.

The government has asked the authorities concerned to take necessary steps for maintaining Hajj flight schedule.

A total of 126,798 Bangladeshi citizens have registered to perform Hajj this year.

Of them, 6,798 will go on pilgrimage to Makkah under government management while the rest 120,000 under private management.

Hajj flight to Saudi Arabia will continue until August 15. Return flights will start on August 27 and continue until September 25.

Some 187 flights of Biman Bangladesh Airlines will carry 64,967 Hajj pilgrims and 188 flights of Saudi Airlines 61,831 pilgrims.

"We have completed all formalities for Hajj this year in line with the national Hajj and Omrah policy of the government," Religious Affairs Minister Principal Motiur Rahman told the media after an inter-ministerial meeting with executive members of National Hajj Management Committee held on Monday at the ministry.

"We will be able to ensure good Hajj management this year," he said.

The meeting was informed that intending Hajj pilgrims could complete blood and other required medical tests either from public or private hospitals or diagnostic centres.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the Hajj activities at Ashkona Hajj office in the city tomorrow (Wednesday).

The religious affairs minister said out of total intending Hajj pilgrims under government management, 6,114 have received Saudi visas so far. The rest will receive visas soon.

Besides, 246 persons of different (government) teams have got visas, he said.

On the other hand, 9,500 got visas for performing Hajj under private management.

The minister said action will be taken against those Hajj agencies if found guilty of taking money less than the government-set package.

Religious Affairs Secretary Md Anisur Rahman said the government will take action against the Hajj agencies which were involved in irregularities last year.

A total of 528 Hajj agencies are involved in Hajj activities this year.

"We urge the intending Hajj pilgrims not to give money to middlemen. They should contact directly with their designated Hajj agencies," said Shahadat Hossain Taslim, secretary general of Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB).

He said HAAB had completed house rent formalities in Saudi Arabia.

Expressing the hope that the intending Hajj pilgrims would smoothly perform the holy Hajj this year, he said a total of 52,000 tickets were sold to Hajj pilgrims as of July 09.

Meanwhile, the government has launched a hotline-09602666707-at the ministry.

Anyone can make complaint about Hajj mismanagement and fraudulence apart from getting information on Hajj, according to the religious affairs ministry.

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