Indi (Vijayapura district): Regretting that owing to the strong lobby of private agencies, many poor Muslims are deprived of affordable Hajj pilgrimage, Minister for Hajj, Infrastructure and Information, R. Roshan Baig said that he has urged External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj to reduce the private quota and increase government quota for Hajj pilgrims.
Addressing presspersons after laying the foundation stone for the Post Matriculation Hostel for Boys of Minorities at Indi town on Monday, he said that private agents use their strong influence to keep major chunk of quota for making revenue.
“These private agents charge exorbitant fee to Hajj pilgrims which only rich people can afford. The government should reduce the private quota to minimum and add that in government quota which would enable more poor and middle class people to visit the holy place”, he said.
On the complaints that many private agencies were cheating Hajj pilgrim by taking money and not providing any facilities, Mr. Baig said that he has urged Home Minister and directed the top police officials to register cases of cheating against any such private agency that cheats innocent pilgrims.
With regard to the development of airport at Vijayapura which is pending for nearly six years, the Minister said that the State government was ready to share Rs. 50 crore as land levelling charge if Airport Authority of India (AAI) starts working on the project.
He said that during the recent meeting convened by Civil Aviation Minister, Ashok Gajapathi Raju in New Delhi, the State government has urged the Union Government to expedite all airport projects of the State.
About Kalaburagi airport project, he said that since 75 per cent of the work was over, and the State government has also cancelled the contract of private agency, the government would now spend money to complete the project and hand it over to the AAI for operation.
Indi MLA, Yeshwantraigouda Patil was present.