SRINAGAR: Ahead of the Hajj-2023 pilgrimage, the authorities have once again resorted to the unexpected hike this year too, leaving the pilgrims from Jammu & Kashmir disappointed while the Jammu & Kashmir Hajj Committee (JKHC) stated that the matter will be taken up with the concerned authorities to ensure that the amount for the pilgrimage for the Kashmiri Hajj aspirants will at par with those of other states.
As per the news agency KNO the pilgrimage amount has been increased this year too as according to the document share by the JKHC Chairperson, Safina Beigh, the amount has been hiked by Rs 10,000 compared to last year, which is Rs 50,000 to Rs 91,000 more than other states.
However, talking to KNO, Safina Beigh said that the rates have always remained high for the Hajj aspirants in Jammu & Kashmir, but in the recent meeting, she had raised the issue during a meeting with the concerned authorities and she was assured the rates will not be increased.
However, despite assurances, the rates have been increased this year too, she said, adding that she will take up the matter with the concerned officials and ministry again and will see if there is any possibility of refund.
In her tweet, she appealed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resolve the issue.
“Despite the announcement of cheaper Haj rates this year, the exorbitant fares from Kashmir are causing apprehensions among the people. As the leader of our nation, we have full faith in your ability to resolve this issue & make it easier for the people of Kashmir to fulfill their religious obligations. We request your intervention regarding the high air fares for Kashmiri pilgrims in comparison to the rest of the Indian states & take necessary steps to ensure that the airfares for Kashmiri pilgrims are bought at par with those of other states. High costs are making it difficult for many devotees to undertake the holy pilgrimage. Your intervention will go a long way in providing relief to the people & strengthening the unity of our diverse nation,” she tweeted.
“Pertinently, the airfare difference between Bangalore & Srinagar is ₹91K, Delhi & Srinagar is ₹50K, Hyderabad & Srinagar is ₹90K, Mumbai & Srinagar is ₹90K. This clearly give rise in apprehensions among masses in Kashmir that needs to be tackled immediately,” Beigh tweeted.
Moreover, Member Haj Committee of India (HCoI), Er Aijaz Hussain while talking to KNO said that there are certain reasons behind the hike in the pilgrimage amount this year, adding that the dollar rates has increased against INR while the Go Airlines have stopped operations and the majority of the airlines don’t participate in the tenders for Kashmir.
He said that these are among the reasons due to which the pilgrimage amount has been increased this year. (KNO)