Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Saturday flagged off the first batch of 410 Hajj pilgrims, after assuring that preparations for a smooth pilgrimage have been completed.
Out of the 1,28,702 pilgrims to be facilitated by the government through the Hajj Committee this year, over 1,200 Hajj pilgrims are scheduled to leave Delhi for Saudi Arabia in three flights on Saturday.
Despite the removal of Hajj subsidy and new taxes being imposed in South Africa, Naqvi said that there was no additional financial weight on the pilgrims. Naqvi added that airlines will be paid Rs 57 crore less as compared to 2017.
Apart from Delhi, 1,020 pilgrims from Srinagar, 450 pilgrims from Gaya, 269 from Guwahati, and 900 from Lucknow are also leaving for the pilgrimage on Saturday.
The other dates for pilgrims to perform the rituals at the Holy shrine of Mecca are July 17 for Kolkata, July 20 for Varanasi, July 21 for Mangalore, July 26 for Goa, July 29 for Aurangabad, Chennai, Mumbai and Nagpur, July 30 for Ranchi, August 1 for Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Cochin, Hyderabad and Jaipur, and August 3 for Bhopal.