Prince Khalid Al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz, the
Governor of Makkah Region, who is also Chairman of Hajj Central Committee,
announced that all pilgrims were successfully ascended to Mina to stay the night
in the valley of Mina before heading for Arafat area early tomorrow
In a press conference, he said the number of pilgrims arriving in
the Kingdom from abroad until yesterday stood at 1752392 pilgrims representing
189 nationalities from all over the world.
Asked about the number of
domestic pilgrims, Prince Khalid Al-Faisal declined to give a specific number
'as many trek their way in without permission', he stated.
He reassured the
health situation for pilgrims 'as excellent', vowing that no serious illnesses
or epidemics monitored, according accurate health ministry reports.
concise reports on major services by the Government of the Custodian of the Two
Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to pilgrims, Prince Khalid
Al-Faisal said the Ministry of Health made available more than 3000 beds in
eight hospitals in Makkah, seven in the other holy places, more than 150 health
centers; the Ministry of Water and Electricity provided more than 600,000 cu.m.
of water, operated six new power transforming stations; the Ministry of
Municipal and Rural Affairs recruited 12,000 cleaners; the Ministry of
Transport's train will pick some 500,000 pilgrims and provided 20,000 buses; the
Ministry of Interior recruited around 60,000 security men in the holy shrines
area with an overall number tolling 82,000; civil defense men 26,500 with 152
Red Crescent centers equipped with 510 ambulances.
As per phase I, 36,000
water circulation have been established in Mina and Muzdalifah, with phase II
under construction, he said.
Prince Khalid Al-Faisal gave an account on the
projects introduced this year to make the Hajj journey a pleasant and true
worshipping one, citing the camels and cows slaughter house, Jamarat expansion
project, tunnels and roads in the holy places.
Asked about a proposal to stop
using mini buses in Hajj area, Prince Khalid Al-Faisal referred to a study
approved by the monarch last Ramadan including a huge transport project to solve
the increasing need of pilgrims to transportation, depicting transportation as
the basic pillar in Hajj services, followed by housing.
He lauded the
progress achieved by the authorities concerned to bar unlicensed pilgrims from
entering the Hajj areas, expressing hope that following a 'step by step' policy,
one day the phenomenon will be controlled and infiltrating disappears.
admitted that still some people practice the job of helping others to hide out
and find an illegal way into the sacred area during Hajj.
Asked about the
possibility of adding more stories to the Jamarat to reach eight, he said
studies show the technical possibility but actually there is no plan as such for
the time being.
Asked about the defect through which the problem of
infiltrators to Hajj areas arise, he lashed out at the understanding of Saudi
society. To explain this, he, first, cast light on the grace by Allah Almighty
on the Saudis to become servants of guests of God. Depicting Hajj as an
extraordinary event and the true work of the Saudi government, he said Saudi
officials and ordinary citizens should be absolutely aware of this
responsibility. Had we obtained the culture of Hajj as responsibility and not an
event to get benefit of, then we could solve any problem in Hajj, he was quoted
as saying. He called for spreading the culture of Islamic hospitality.
response to a question, he said the art of crowds management is the one that
Saudi Arabia could teach the world how to do it.