Just two days before Eid-ul-Azha, Haj pilgrims from Kashmir are sending distressing messages to their kins back home, complaining about lack of basic facilities like lodging and transportation at Makkah in Saudi Arabia. A number of pilgrims, especially from Azizia category, told Kashmir Life over the phone, that they are unable to pray at Haram, as mandatory, due to lack of transport facility. The buses that are provided to transport them to Haram, often take unsuitable routes. “Even government designated Khadims to endorse the same wrong routes,” said one pilgrim from Makkah.
A number of pilgrims alleged that Khadims or group leaders of other states are proactive, but designated Khadims for Jammu and Kashmir are least cooperative
Several pilgrims staying in building number 149, (Azizia category) at Makkah said that room arrangements are pathetic as the room suitable for three people is being allotted to six people.
Aijaz Lone, a pilgrim from Pampore, said that unfortunately most of the pilgrims are first-time travellers so they take things as they get without even complaining what they are actually eligible for. The beds provided for sleeping purpose are very short “Every night I have to decide whether to put feet above or below the steel bar of the bed,” Lone said, “Haj authorities have not lived up to their promises”.
Same is the situation at Mina for HCI Hajis from Kashmir where up to 400 Hajis are pushed into each tent. “The situation is so pathetic that we can hardly stay there for the night,” said a Haji.