Delhi to get its first Haj house next year, building layout prepared

Updated on Jan 29, 2018 04:36 PM IST
The project is going to cost at least Rs 93.47 crore, work for which is likely to begin from April.
Artist impression of the Haj House.
Artist impression of the Haj House.
Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

Haj pilgrims embarking from Delhi will get to stay in the city’s first ever Haj house from mid-next year.

The Delhi government, after nearly a decade since land for the Haj house was allotted at Dwarka Sector 22, has prepared the building layout of the proposed house.

The project is going to cost at least Rs 93.47 crore, work for which is likely to begin from April.

As per the project report, the centrally air-conditioned house will have state-of-the-art facilities, including separate dormitories for men and women, VIP suites, immigrations counters, prayer halls, kitchens and dining halls.

The building will also have a library, which will double up as a knowledge centre and a museum displaying the history of Haj pilgrimage in India.

The move assumes significance as, unlike other states, Delhi doesn’t have its own Haj house. Pilgrims, along with their family members, are made to stay in transit camps that are built at Ramlila Maidan and Dargah Faiz Ilahi during the months of June-July.

With 15,000-20,000 pilgrims every year, Delhi is the biggest embarkation point for Haj pilgrimage in the country. Apart from Delhiites, Hajis from Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, western Uttar Pradesh and Chandigarh also depart for their journey from the city.

Those from Jammu and Kashmir also have the option to embark from the National Capital.

In fact, the Delhi Haj Committee (DHC) that organises the mega-event also operates from a part of a community centre owned by the Delhi Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB). This dilapidated building is called Haj Manzil.

“DHC has been given only half of the first floor of this building. Once the Haj House in Dwarka is ready, we will have our own office. The Hajis (pilgrims) will also have a unique experience in the House as all modern amenities will be provided,” said Ashfaque Ahmad Arfi, executive officer of the Delhi State Haj Committee.

Arfi added that the Haj House at Dwarka Sector 22 will be able to accommodate around 350 pilgrims at a time.

Officials of the Public Works Department (PWD) who are executing the project said that the building will be a green building with passive lighting and solar power plants. “The entire shadow-free area of the rooftop will be used for solar-power generation. Besides, several other techniques for reducing electricity consumption will also be used. This is the reason behind the cost running up to about Rs 100 crore,” a PWD official working on the project said.

When asked about the status of the project, revenue minister Kailash Gahlot said that the project has been cleared from the revenue department and only fund allocation remains. “We had a couple of meetings in the last few months of all the stakeholder and major bottlenecks have been removed. We are trying to expedite things so that work can start at the earliest,” he said.

Earlier, the Haj House was supposed to be a seven-storey building, but due to its close proximity to the airport, it fell under the red zone where structures of buildings are restricted to 15 metres. The building will have three floors.

However, DHC is mulling to restrict companions of pilgrims in the Haj house due to space crunch. “The scope of the project has reduced. The problem we are likely to face in the Haj house is that of the family and friends, who accompany the pilgrims. Indian culture is such that just to see off one Haji, three to five people come along,” said Arfi.

We will have to come up with a public notice to curtail the number of companions once the Haj house is ready, he said.

BOX

Plan for Delhi Haj House ready

Land Area: 5000 sqm

Building specification: Ground + 3 floors + double basement

Estimated cost: 93.47 crore

Building will be a green building

It will be centrally air-conditioned

What’s in store?

4 VIP suites

4 double bed suites

68 dormitory beds for females

104 dormitory beds for males

Museum

Library

Normal and executive Dining halls

Prayer halls

Ablution areas for males and females

Kitchens and pantries

Medical room

Passport section

Airport (Immigration) Centre

Conference hall

Cafeteria

Bank storage

Luggage store

Rooms for officials

Car parking

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sweta Goswami writes on urban development, transport, energy and social welfare in Delhi. She prefers to be called a storyteller and has given voice to several human interest stories. She is currently cutting her teeth on multimedia storytelling.

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