The crowd in Mina Jamrat
A visit to the Calicut Hajj camp:
As you enter the
Calicut Airport Hajj camp, a captivatingly serene ambience welcomes
you. Active and energetic volunteers – young, old, men and women –
running errands for Hajis...
Saudi authorities have completed the construction of the five-story
Jamrat Bridge in Mina, enabling pilgrims to make full use of the
high-tech facility this year for stoning the Jamrat.
Arab News, the SR4.5 billion project aims to ensure a smooth
flow of thousands of pilgrims during the ritual. Many pilgrims have,
in the past, died in stampedes while carrying out this rite.
“We’ll not allow
pilgrims to squat along the roads leading to the Jamrat,” said Maj.
Gen. Saad Al-Khelaiwi, assistant commander of Haj Security Forces.
monitor and control the flow of pilgrims,” he added.
He said the Jamrat
Bridge would not be able to accommodate more than 300,000 pilgrims
an hour. “So we have appointed 19 commanders along the roads to stop
pilgrims when the number exceeds 300,000.”
would not be allowed to carry large bags while going to perform the
stoning ritual, adding that more than 12,000 men would be taking
part in the operation", Arab News quoted Al-Khelaiwi as
Maj. Muhammad Al-Shahri,
commander of the Command and Control Center, said his center has the
ability to monitor all operation areas. “We have installed more than
1,850 cameras in different parts of the holy sites and the Grand
Mosque,” he said.
Maj. Gen. Khidr
Al-Zahrani, assistant commander for Security Affairs, said his
forces would focus on preventing crimes.
established about 30 police stations in the holy sites to receive
state-of-the-art Jamrat Bridge is designed to accommodate five
million pilgrims. It has 10 entrances and 12 exits distributed over
the four levels plus others to accommodate pilgrims coming from
different directions. There are some more works pending:
construction of four helipad towers and eight escalator towers,
which will be ready next year.
project is currently underway to redesign and develop Arafat at a
cost of SR500 million. The first phase of the project was begun
earlier this year and will cost about SR170 million. It consists of
reconstructing roads, service utilities, tent locations, leveling
eight small rocky outcroppings, and a sewage network for rain and
Once completed, it
will be easy for pilgrims to enter and exit Arafat. The service
roads and emergency exits will be clearly marked. The leveling of
the outcroppings will provide an empty area that can accommodate
some 100,000 pilgrims. It will also provide space for the
construction of more than 200 toilets and a major road 700 meters
long and 30 meters wide, says the Arab News.