Costlier Hajj: Chairperson Safina Baig seeks PM’s intervention to resolve row

wilayattimes (Jammu and Kashmir)

Srinagar | WTNS | May 12:Amid the row over costlier air fares for Kashmiri Hajj pilgrims, J&K Hajj Committee Chairperson Safina Baig Thursday sought personal intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resolve the row.

Baig in a tweet urged the PM for his intervention in reducing the exorbitant airfares from Kashmir for Hajj pilgrimage.

“Despite the announcement of cheaper Hajj rates this year, high airfares from Kashmir are causing apprehensions among the people. As the leader of the nation, we have full faith in your ability to resolve the issue and make it easier for the people of Kashmir to fulfill their religious obligations,” she tweeted.

Baig urged the government to take necessary steps to ensure that the airfares for Kashmiri pilgrims were brought at par with those of other states, as the high costs were making it difficult for many devotees to undertake the holy pilgrimage.

She said that the PM’s intervention would go a long way in providing relief to the people and strengthening the unity of the diverse nation.

“The airfare difference between Srinagar and other Indian states has been reported to be significant. For instance, the airfare difference between Bangaluru and Srinagar is Rs 91,000, Delhi and Srinagar is Rs 50,000, Hyderabad and Srinagar is Rs 90,000, and Mumbai and Srinagar is Rs 90,000,” Baig said.

These differences have caused apprehensions among the masses in Kashmir, and the committee believes that this needs to be tackled immediately.

The J&K Hajj Committee has requested the PM’s intervention and swift action to resolve the issue and make Hajj pilgrimage more accessible for Kashmiri pilgrims.

Prominent Women Politician had earlier said that she had taken up the issue about high airfares for Kashmiri Hajj pilgrims with the concerned authorities.

The recent announcement of cheaper Hajj rates has brought relief to many pilgrims across India, but Kashmiri residents are still concerned over exorbitant airfares.

The discrepancy in airfares for pilgrims traveling from Srinagar compared to other Indian states has caused unrest among the people.

There are reports that many pilgrims are mulling to withdraw their Hajj forms owing to the high airfares, which is going beyond their budget.

Meanwhile, as thousands of Kashmiris are preparing for the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage, the call for fair and equal airfares remains a pressing concern for many pilgrims who have appealed to the concerned authorities for reconsideration of airfares.

Over the years, the cost of the Hajj pilgrimage has increased significantly, making it difficult for many Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation.

The price fixed for Hajj-2023 was higher by Rs 10,000 compared to price fixed for Hajj-2022.

The amount remitted by pilgrims during Hajj-2022 was Rs 3.85 lakhs whil the amount to be remitted by pilgrims for Hajj-2023 is Rs 3.95.

In February this year, the government said that the Hajj-2023 would be cheaper by almost Rs 80,000 and that each pilgrim would pay Rs 350,000 to 3,70,000 maximum for performing the annual pilgrimage.

However, according to the tentative amounts fixed by the Hajj Committee of India (HCoI), each pilgrim has to pay an amount of Rs 3.95 lakh, excluding Rs 16000 for Qurbani, to perform Hajj this year.

The price fixed by J&K is second highest at Rs 3.95 lakh while the highest price has been fixed for Gaya at Rs 4 lakh.

As per the airfares, the pilgrims of Srinagar embarkation point have to pay an excess amount of Rs 91,000 compared to pilgrims of Bengalaru, Rs 50,000 more than Delhi pilgrims, and Rs 90000 excess amount to be paid as compared to pilgrims of Hyderabad and Mumbai.