Haj pilgrimage goes digital, online registrations for 2019 to begin on October 18
Union minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, while announcing the Haj schedule for 2019, said the decision to go digital was taken in order to reduce the number of complaints that the HCOI was receiving against tour operators.Updated: Oct 18, 2018 15:45 IST
The minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi announced the schedule of Haj pilgrimage on Wednesday, and said all registrations - be it through the Haj Committee of India (HCOI) or through private tour operators (PTOs) - will be done online.
“Our aim is to make the process digital and 100% transparent. There is a separate portal launched for the PTOs. Pilgrims can also make use of the app for filing their Haj form,” Naqvi said.
He said the decision to go digital was taken in order to reduce the number of complaints that the HCOI was receiving against tour operators.
The application process for Hajj 2019 will begin from October 18. While the policy for subsidy remains the same, Naqvi said the amount paid to airlines in 2018 was Rs 973 crore, which is less than Rs 1,030 crore paid in 2017.
When asked whether the sea route for pilgrims will be revived from the coming year, Naqvi said a fresh tender was floated after the ministry was not satisfied with the previous ones.
“We are trying to send pilgrims through ship next year. If everything goes as planned, the sea route will be revived by 2019,” he said.
This year onwards, an additional embarkation point has been added from Kerala, wherein, those who would want to travel to Saudi Arabia from Calicut will be able to take a direct flight.