Haj piligrims urged to apply for passports

Haj piligrims urged to apply for passports

Member of the Haj Committee of India, Syed Imtiaz Haider said that out of the 5,800 people scheduled to leave for Haj travel in the month of November from Karnataka, only 1,500 have applied for passports.

Speaking to the media on Saturday, he said that there was confusion amongst travellers about being allowed to travel, in lieu of the H1N1 scare.

“We suspect that people are not sure about travelling as even the Saudi Arabian government has issued an advisory stating that children below 5 years and people above the age of 65 should avoid travel if they can. However, we want to tell people that travel is not banned and that they should go ahead with their preparations and apply for passports and also pay the fees,” he said.

The Committee has asked the people to apply for passports at the earliest, as they have to be submitted to the Haj Committee before August 31.

Vaccination must

Passports for Haj pilgrims are being issued by the Passport Office in fifteen days without police verification, for an eight month period and specific to Saudi Arabia. People travelling to Saudi Arabia have also been asked to take their influenza and meningitis vaccination, two weeks before departure.

Saudi Arabia has made it mandatory for all Indians travelling to Haj from this year onwards to possess valid passports.