PESHAWAR: Hajj aspirants coming from different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Haji Camp, Peshawar, are met with insufficient facilities as the camp lacks air-conditioned rooms despite the sweltering heat besides being served low quality food in the canteen at exorbitant prices, local media reports have informed.
Hajj aspirants spent sleepless nights in the camp due to mosquitoes and hot, unhygienic environment, while, all the offices of the Directorate of Hajj were well decorated and air-conditioned.
Besides this, several pilgrims complained that they had been asked to rearrange their fingerprints in their respective stations, but after reaching the Haji Camp, they were sent back for the fingerprints which cost them double charges of transport.
Passports of some of the aspirants also went missing and they were told to wait for four and five days for the completion of their documents and the passport.
The pilgrims held the caretaker government responsible for their worries and said that federal caretaker minister and secretary religious affair did not take their problems seriously. They appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar to take action against the responsible persons who demonstrated negligence while performing their duties.
Director Shakeel Ahmad Sethi said that the Hajj directorate was facing a shortage of funds and it was not possible for them to arrange air-conditioned rooms for all pilgrims. He said that they were trying to improve the lodging facilities for next year, adding that another hostel was under construction having an underground portion for pilgrims so they could beat the heat.
Regarding the canteen facilities, he said that canteen owners would be fined for poor arrangements and a new canteen would be established in the new block to improve food facilities.
He further said that due to the BRT construction work, the area outside the Hajj directorate was occupied by BRT contractors which caused pollution and limited space for the visitors.
Meanwhile, Caretaker Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Dost Muhammad Khan directed the divisional and district administrations to launch raids both on the open markets and the Haji camp Peshawar and catch the culprits selling out ahrams and other items required by the Hujjaj at high prices. He said that the ahram and other items required for Hajj should be available at reasonable rates.