Mangalore, 27 Aug 2014: The Air India Express (AIE) flight carrying the first batch of Haj pilgrims this year took-off from Mangalore International Airport (MIA) here on Wednesday August 27.

The state minister for infrastructure development, information and Haj – Roshan Baig flagged-off the first flight of Haj pilgrims at the airport, in the presence of state health minister U T Khadar, MLAs J R Lobo and Mohiuddin Bawa, state former education minister B A Moideen and others on the occasion.

Addressing the gathering, minister Roshan Baig said that this was the first flight from the state carrying Haj pilgrims this year. The first flight with Haj pilgrims from Bangalore will depart on September 12, informed minister Roshan  Baig.

From Thursday August 28 to September 1, 5 batches of Haj pilgrims will leave from MIA by evening flights. From Bangalore, 16 batches will leave for Haj between September 12 and September 27.

Among the 130 pilgrims that left on August 27 from Mangalore, 64 were men and 66 women.

Roshan Baig also informed that 5,000 pilgrims have registered from the state this year, among whom 700 are from Mangalore.

MLA J R Lobo announced that Kuwait – Mangalore flight will resume from October 27 this year.

The minister U T Khadar said that this year, the health ministry has sent 7 doctors, 14 nurses and a pharmacist to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to look after the medical needs of the pilgrims. This has been done mainly to prevent exploitation of pilgrims by private operators in the name of healthcare, added minister Khader.

Courtesy : Bellevision