Jeddah Consulate should be blamed for poor arrangements : HCI

By Saad Bin Zia, RINA,

New Delhi: “As per the existing rules and regulations the responsibility of providing facilities for pilgrims at Saudi Arabia lies with the Indian Consulate at Jeddah and not with the Haj Committee of India (HCI)”, revealed CEO of HCI Mr. Mohammad Owais. He was speaking to RINA from Mumbai over the telephone. “Yes, I agree that HCI receives money from the pilgrims but contrary to the popular belief it does not retain the money. Rather as and when it receives instructions from the government of India for certain head the required amount is immediately disbursed to the concerned department”, pointed out Mr.Owais.

Support TwoCircles

When asked if this is the case than why the pilgrims always blame the HCI for mismanagement in Saudi Arabia Mr. Owais shot back, “The HCI is responsible for arrangements in India only and not in Saudi Arabia. Once the pilgrim has boarded the flight our task is over. Right from the time from landing at the Jeddah airport till the return flight the Indian Consulate at Jeddah is in charge of the Indian Hajis”.

According to Mr. Owais, “The Indian Consulate at Jeddah engages various agencies for providing different facilities during Haj. These include Muallim, food and lodging, cleanliness, toilets, medical services, transport etc. The HCI does not interfere in the functioning of Indian Consulate in any which way”. Mr. Owais remarked, “If any Indian Haji suffers any hardships in Saudi Arabia How can Haj Committee be blamed for this? Indian Consulate at Jeddah should be blamed for not taking proper care of the Hajis”.

As solution to this pertinent problem Mr. Owais offered, “If the Indian Consulate at Jeddah is unable to carry out it duties properly then I feel and demand from the government of India to give more powers to HCI including arrangements in Saudi Arabia. I assure you much better services and a near perfect Haj without much trouble to Indian Hajis”. Through his utterances due complaints by many Hajis against the HCI Mr. Owais wanted to clear the air regarding the functioning of the HCI as also to dispel the thoughts HCI is extracting huge hard earned money and still not providing better facilities.

Mohammed Owais has been CEO of Hajj Committee of India since January 2006.