Min­istry urged to de­crease pri­vate Hajj pack­ages cost

E-mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem to make man­age­ment of pil­grims eas­ier

Pakistan Observer - - NATIONAL -

IS­LAM­ABAD—The pri­vate in­tend­ing pil­grims have asked the Min­istry of Re­li­gious Af­fairs and In­ter­faith Har­mony to help de­creas­ing ex­pen­sive Hajj pack­ages be­ing of­fered by some Hajj Group Or­gan­is­ers (HGOs). Talk­ing to APP, Muham­mad Awais, Hafiz Ad­nan, the in­tend­ing pil­grims, who failed to se­cure a berth in Govern­ment Hajj Scheme, urged Min­istry of Re­li­gious Af­fairs and In­ter­faith Har­mony to take strict ac­tion against the HGOs, who are of­fer­ing un­af­ford­able and ex­pen­sive pack­ages.

They said var­i­ous HGOs have started the regis­tra­tion process on ex­or­bi­tant pack­ages, mak­ing im­pos­si­ble for a medi­ocre to per­form Hajj. Their pack­ages are rang­ing from Rs 500,000 to over two mil­lion ru­pees. Some HGOs are de­mand­ing Rs 525,000 to Rs 575,000 for 40 to 42 days pack­age with ac­com­mo­da­tion of four bed room with­out Qur­bani (Sac­ri­fice).

They said one room ac­commo- da­tion was be­ing of­fered to two hu­j­jaj. Same pack­age with three bed one room ac­com­mo­da­tion is be­ing of­fered for upto Rs 650,000. The pack­age in­cludes near­est ac­com­mo­da­tions in Makkah and Mad­ina Mu­nawwara, fix­ing tents near Jam­rat bridge, near­est ac­com­mo­da­tions in Madzalfa, Mina and Arafat.

The pack­age in­cludes vis­its of Makkah and Mad­ina Mu­nawwara. How­ever, they are pledg­ing to pro­vide near­est ac­com­mo­da­tions from Haram Sharif. HGOs have in­tro­duced var­i­ous pack­ages rang­ing from 14 days to 43 days. Some or­ga­niz­ers were of­fer­ing from Rs 700,000 to Rs 750,000 for 22 day pack­age ex­clud­ing Qur­bani (Sac­ri­fice) and two way air­fare.

Spokesman Min­istry of Re­li­gious Af­fairs and In­ter­faith Har­mony Noor Za­man told APP that pri­vate op­er­a­tors were of­fer­ing too costly pack­ages mak­ing im­pos­si­ble for even medi­ocre to af­ford. The min­istry had made sin­cere ef­fort to slash quota of HGOs by 20 per­cent with the aim to pro­vide so­lace to poor peo­ple as min­istry was of­fer­ing hajj only for Rs 272,000 that too with meal, trans­port and other fa­cil­i­ties.

The Min­istry of Re­li­gious Af­fairs and In­ter­faith Har­mony has de­vel­oped an elec­tronic mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem for promptly re­solv­ing the in­quiries, queries, com­plaints of Hu­j­jaj dur­ing Hajj days. Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial sources on Wed­nes­day, the sys­tem, de­vel­oped by Pak­istan In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy Board (PITB) will make Hajj man­age­ment eas­ier for govern­ment as well as pil­grims.

The sys­tem is a com­pre­hen­sive por­tal that comes with a va­ri­ety of val­ueadded fea­tures, all de­signed to cater to spe­cific needs of the pil­grims. The first fea­ture is a helpline and which is ac­ces­si­ble, both on­line and through an An­droid ap­pli­ca­tion named ‘Pak Hajj Moavin’ and al­lows users to reg­is­ter queries, com­plaints and sug­ges­tions in an ef­fec­tive man­ner.

The pil­grims would be able to reg­is­ter their com­plaints regarding any dif­fi­cul­ties while the staff de­puted in the holy land and as well in Pak­istan would try to ad­dress griev­ances. Mo­bile SMS ser­vice has been ded­i­cated for dis­sem­i­na­tion of in­for­ma­tion. The com­plaints could also be reg­is­tered a on­line com­plaint regis­tra­tion por­tal.

The sys­tem has an in­built mech­a­nism of trans­fer­ring the un­re­solved com­plaint to the next tier of man­age­ment for tak­ing ap­pro­pri­ate mea­sures. A daily sit­u­a­tion re­port is gen­er­ated for the in­for­ma­tion of se­nior man­age­ment. The sys­tem was launched for the first time in Hajj 2013. Hun­dreds of in­quiries/ com­plaints were reg­is­tered through this sys­tem and were suc­cess­fully ad­dressed/re­solved to the sat­is­fac­tion of the com­plainants.

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