Our Correspondent /Bhubaneswar
The BJD government in Odisha has decided to set up a Haj House in the capital city Bhubaneswar for the welfare and felicitation of Haj pilgrims from the state.
Felicitating Haj pilgrims of this year from Odisha in Bhubaneswar today, chief minister Naveen Patnaik said that his government is committed for welfare of people belonging to minority communities. He said the Odisha government has sanctioned 5 crore rupees for the development of educational institutions in the state for welfare of minority community children.
Besides, the government will construct 100 multi-purpose centres for Muslim people in next three years, Patnaik added. While wishing them a safe and smooth journey of 688 Haj pilgrims including 200 women, the chief minister said Odisha government has been trying to have an embarkation point in the Bhubaneswar airport for Haj pilgrims.
He said the Odisha government was also mulling over establishing direct plane communication between Bhubaneswar and Mecca for the welfare of pilgrims.
A total number of 1,133 applicants shown interest to go for Haj this year scheduled for September 2. Out of them 572 were selected through qurrah, a computerised lottery draw organised by the state Haj committee on its premises in Cuttack on Wednesday. Another 116 people were selected directly according to the standing guidelines of the Haj committee.