Hyderabad, Nov 12 (UNI) Minister of State for External Affairs and incharge of Haj affairs E Ahamed today flagged off the first batch of 300 Haj pilgrims from the State.
Speaking on the occasion at the State Haj House here, Mr Ahamed said the Centre had deployed 506 officials and medical staff to Mecca and Madina to provide all kinds of facilities to the Indian Haj pilgrims. The Government was taking all measures to improve the services in coordination with the Saudi Arabia Government at the holy places, he added.
Stating that the Government had granted permission to 1.10 lakh Haj pilgrims out of 1.90 lakh applicants, he said the Centre was trying to clear some of the excess applications.
Appreciating the Rajasekhara Reddy Government for providing better facilities to the pilgrims, Mr Ahamed said there was also a proposal to streamline the function of private operators to curb them from charging the pilgrims exorbitantly.
State Energy and Minority Welfare Minister Mohd Ali Shabbir said that out of 11,000 applicants, 6,820 Haj pilgrims were from the State. He urged the Union Minister to take steps to clear the waiting list at the earliest.