Pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh for Haj 2012 will be selected through ‘Qurrah’ (draw of lots) on May 10. The Haj Committee of India (HCI) has finalised the ‘Qurrah’ dates for all the States and Union Territories between May 7 to 15.
Like in the past, the HCI has decided to adopt one Qurrah one waiting list policy. Exact pilgrim quota for each State has not been indicated yet but last year’s quota is expected to be retained.
Last year 7,525 pilgrims from A.P performed Haj and this time authorities are hopeful of increase in the State quota.
The 16-member State Haj committee will meet on February 18 here to review arrangements for issue of Haj application forms from March 1.
Special chartered pilgrim flights from India will be operated from September 19 to October 20 and the return flights will commence from November 1, said S.A. Shukoor, executive officer, A.P Haj Committee. The tentative date of ‘Arafat’ (the culminating event of the annual pilgrimage) is expected to be on October 26. Since it happens to be a Friday, those making the pilgrimage this year are considered lucky.
A detailed action plan for Haj 2012 has been chalked out at the meeting of executive officers of Haj Committees held at Mumbai. This time round, the HCI wants the applicants to submit passport compulsorily along with the Haj application form.
However, NRIs will be exempted and they will be asked to attach photo copies of their passports/visas/ work permits along with the application forms.
A view that emerged at the meeting is to allow pilgrims who have applied for passport prior to Haj 2012 announcement and have not received the same. For such pilgrims, a deadline should be fixed for submission of passport which may not be extended in any case, it is felt.
The HCI is serious about physical fitness of intending pilgrims. A medical certificate from a doctor of government hospital is made compulsory. Because of the laxity in the past, the HCI incurred Rs. 16-lakh expenditure towards airlifting of stretchers, wheel chair patients along with their medical escorts during Haj 2010.
The poor attention paid in issuing fitness certificates rehad sulted in many physically handicapped and amputated persons proceeding on Haj. There were also 11 deliveries leading to lot of inconvenience, it is said.