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Number of Hajj pilgrims on the wane

  • Published at 04:01 pm September 20th, 2013
Number of Hajj pilgrims on the wane

The number of Hajj pilgrims under the government management in Barisal has come down drastically.

Pilgrims in the district put the blame on the mismanagement of the Islamic Foundation Bangladesh (IFB)

The Islamic Foundation authorities, however, denied the allegation.

This year only eight pilgrims are going to perform Hajj under government management.

This number was nine in 2012, 13 in 2011, 38 in 2010, 53 in 2009, shows Islamic Foundation data.

People who performed Hajj under government and private managements claimed the services and managements were better in private sectors and the expenses were almost the same.

Delwar Hossain Rupak, who performed Hajj two times under a private Hajj agency, said he preferred private Hajj agencies because officials of the government Hajj management remained indifferent towards solving pilgrims' problems.

Moreover, they failed to rent comfortable houses and tents near the holy shrines.

Meanwhile, because of a competitive business mood, private agencies always try to provide better services such as camps and housing facilities near the holy shrines in Mecca and Medina, and full time supervision and care of the pilgrims, said Mawlana Sahadat of Islamia Tours and Travels Barisal.

Md Nizamuddin, deputy director of Barisal Islamic Foundation office, said: “As I have never travelled with the Hajj pilgrims, I cannot say anything about the condition of services provided for the pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.”

Md Shohidul Alam, deputy commissioner of Barisal, said the local DC office only received applications from Hajj pilgrims and forwarded them to Dhaka Hajj office under the Ministry of Religious Affairs; the Islamic Foundation held all the responsibility.

However, if Barisal Airport were connected with Bangladesh Biman Hajj networks, the number of Hajj pilgrims under government management from Barisal could be increased, said many locals.