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28 September 2012

For the first time, Haj flights begin from Gaya International Airport

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By Wakeel Ahmad

Gaya: With Gaya Internatinal Airport (GIA) having become an embarkation point, people of Gaya are all agog to give warm welcome to the Haj pilgrims here. It is the first time in the history of Gaya when Haj pilgrims are flying straight to Jeddah from Gaya International Airport. Earlier too, Gaya was an embarkation point way back in 2003 during BJP rule at the Centre. However, they had to detour to reach Mecca. Hence, they either went to Kolkata or Delhi to board International flight. Hence, those pilgrims who are at the wrong side of their age, had to bear tedious, exhaustive and arduous journey, 

However, flight from Gaya did not go down well with some vested politicians. Unfortunately, the sacred journey to Mecca from Gaya was also not remained untouched by petty politics. Consequently, embarkation point was again shifted to space crunched Patna airport.The Haj pilgrims, as a consequence, had to to face plethora of problems, including rigour of journey as well as loss of their luggage in transit.

Good sense, however, dawned upon the Civil Aviation Ministry and embarkation point was ultimately shifted to Gaya. So, Haj pilgrims would now save the time around 14 hours to reach Mecca. The pilgrims have been flying to Jeddah by AI-5589 and AI-5591 since 17 September 2012. More than 6,000 Haj pigrims hailing from different districts of Bihar would be flying straight to Jeddah till October 6.

Haj pilgrims to Gaya Airport are warmly welcomed by Gayaites, who are on their toes to extend every possible help and service to them.

Pilgrims are arriving Gaya airport by the airconditioned Volvo buses that were flagged off by the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. A group of Muslim doctors have been providing free treatment to the Haj pilgrims. Four-bed hospital equipped with all emergency and life saving drugs as well as gadgets like ECG machines and cardiac monitor had been set up both inside and outside the airport Dr Farasat Hussain, in charge of the medical camps, said to Indian Muslim Observer.

Deputy Civil Surgeon (DCS) Dr. S. Z. Hussain said doctors would work in three shifts and four beds would also be ready for emergency at the Anugrah Narayan Magadh Medical College and Hospital (ANMMCH).Apart from that four ambulances would be ready round the clock to bring unwell pilgrims to the hospital.

A few people from Hindu community have also showed keen desire to render their services and supply mineral water and breakfast to Haj pilgrims. But their service was denied by some conservative Muslims.

However, everything is not hunky dory.The tariff being charged for food in Haj Bhawan is not genuine, said Sami Akhtar, a social activist.

[Wakeel Ahmad is Staff Correspondent with IndianMuslimObserver.com. He can be contacted at wakeeldel@gmail.com]

1 comment:

  1. Very informative piece of writing. Included every aspects. Highlights on the past decisions on flights from Gaya was good...