Marking beginning of this season's Haj Pilgrimage, the first Haj pilgrim team left from the Karipur International Airport today at 10:45 in the morning. With 300 pilgrims on board Saudi Airlines, Union Minister of state for external affairs, E Ahmed flagged-off the flight. The officials informed that the flight left from Karipur is the first flight leaving India with Haj pilgrims this season.
The officials informed that 300 pilgrims will be leaving the state to perform Haj. A Haj cell equipped with 30 government officials deputed from various departments is functioning at the Karipur Haj House to carry out the registration process. Karipur is the boarding point for the people from Kerala, Mahe and Lakshadweep. 27 flights, each with a carrying capacity of 300 pilgrims will operate from Karipur till October 15th. Twenty Haj volunteers have been deployed for round-the-clock service at the camp.
There was two flights on the first day. Apart from the 10.45 a.m. flight, Saudi Arabian Airlines operated another flight at 1.30 p.m.. As per the deal signed with Saudi Arabian Airlines, the airline would have to pay damages for any delay beyond four hours. Last year, flight delay had caused some embarrassment for the Haj committee
The Haj Committee chairman p T A Rahim in formed that the trains will stop at Feroke station, which is the nearest railway station to airport, to help the pilgrims and their relatives coming to Karipur. Also special arrangements have been made at the Haj house for the relatives coming along with pilgrims.
Meanwhile, the District Medical Officer informed that the meningitis vaccination and polio vaccine distribution for the Haj pilgrims to be carried by private tour operators would be held at all taluk hospitals, Manjeri General Hospital and the Tirur District Hospital on Thursday and Friday
More articles: Haj 2011