Dr. Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten, minister of Haj and Umrah

Program on grouping of pilgrims launched

Saudi Gazette report
MAKKAH — An awareness program for grouping pilgrims in the holy sites has been launched. The program, launched by the Ministry of Haj and Umrah under the supervision of Haj Minister Dr. Muhammad Saleh Benten, aims to increase the level of readiness in the ministry and Tawafa establishments for this year’s Haj.
The workshop, launched in Makkah Sunday, was attended by the ministry’s undersecretaries, advisers and senior officials, and Chairman and staff of Tawafa Establishment for pilgrims from Turkey, Europe and Australia.
The workshop dwelt at length on plans for grouping of pilgrims, which were later approved by the minister. It also dealt with the stages, routes and timetables for grouping of pilgrims.
Dr. Hussein Sharif, undersecretary at the ministry, said the new plan emanates from a new vision and advanced organizational concepts.
Meanwhile, the General Syndicate for Cars has prepared its Haj operation plan that provides secure and easy transport to about 1.3 million pilgrims during their travel in the holy sites. The number of trips are estimated at 162,750 on 16,000 well-equipped buses of several classes depending on the pilgrims’ choice. The transport fee is collected from the pilgrim using easy and developed methods.
Osama Hassan Mulla, acting secretary general of the syndicate, said the agency has started carrying out its plan on July 21. The plan will culminate with the end of the Haj season on Oct. 31. The plan includes Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah and the roads linking these cities with the holy sites, among other locations.
Mulla said the syndicate is carrying out its operation plan in cooperation with several authorities including the ministries of Haj, transport, health, public security (Traffic Department, Road Security and Civil Defense) and Tawafa establishments.