The Jammu and Kashmir government has taken up the issue of highly inflated airfare for second time Hajj pilgrims from Srinagar with government of India.
“The State government has taken a strong note of exorbitantly higher air fare for the repeat pilgrims of Srinagar in comparison with Delhi or other embarkation points as prescribed by the Hajj Committee of India,” a spokesman of State Hajj Committee said here on Sunday, KNS reported.
The Hajj pilgrims from J&K who are going for repeat pilgrimage this year as companion/mehram will have to pay highest airfare, almost double to what aspirant from other states are being charged.
As against the subsidy for the first-time Hajjis who are being charged Rs 28000 as airfare, the ‘repeater Hajjis’ from Jammu and Kashmir will have to pay Rs 1,54,000 for the travel while those from most other states are being charged around Rs 70,000.
The spokesman said although out of total 8819 pilgrims from J&K, there are only 55 pilgrims registered under repeater category, the State government has taken up the matter with Union Ministries of External Affairs and Civil Aviation with the suggestion that the benefit of air fare subsidy may be extended to the repeater pilgrims as well or at least the air fare for Srinagar Embarkation Point be brought down to a reasonable level comparable with the rates prescribed for other Embarkation points like Delhi or Mumbai.
He said Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah and Minister for Hajj and Auqaf, Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed are in constant touch with the Govt. of India in this regard.
The State Hajj Committee reiterates its mission of facilitating the holy journey of the people of the State to Harmain-e-Sharifain and ensures every possible help to all categories of pilgrims every time, the spokesman added.