Haj Camp begins today in Kerala; first flight tomorrow

By TwoCircles.net Staff Correspondent,

Kochi: This year’s Haj Camp began at the Haj House at Karippur near the Calicut International Airport. The camp began in the presence of the officials of the state Haj Committee. Paloli Muhammed Kutty, Minister for Hajj Affairs, will flag off the first flight from Kerala at 3.50 pm tomorrow.

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The Haj Committee has prepared a schedule beginning from October 20 to November 20 for the travel of the pilgrims. The Committee was informed last day that the airplanes used would be smaller than what was announced earlier. The planes selected earlier could accommodate 250 people on board, but the new planes can carry only 238 aboard. This has made a change in the schedule of the travel. The last twelve pilgrims scheduled to fly in the first flight can go only in the second. The last 24 people listed in the second flight will fly by the third and the last 36 listed to fly in the third flight will go in the fourth flight. Hajis are requested to report as per the new schedule. They are directed to report 24 hours before their scheduled flight and get their medical certificates ready.

Special facilities have been arranged in the camp to conduct medical test of the pilgrims in the wake of the H1N1 flu threat. The medical team appointed by the District Medical Officer will carry out the screening. The pilgrims who have completed registration will get a printed health card which should be produced at the Medical Cell. Those who do not show any signs of H1N1 flu will get a certificate after tests.

The first day will be the day for handing over baggage, registration and medical check-up. Travel documents will be transferred from the Haj Cell on the day of journey. Check in, allotment of boarding pass and distribution of foreign currency will also be there on the same day. Haj Cell authorities will give directions to the pilgrims before setting out to the airport from the Haj Camp. Transportation facilities have been arranged to transport the pilgrims from the Camp to the airport. Customs and emigration tests will be held in the airport, though they were earlier discussed to be done at the Camp itself.

The domestic terminal building in the airport will be used as the Haj Terminal.