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MENAFN - Arab News - 03/12/2013

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(MENAFN - Arab News) Domestic Haj service companies have urged the Haj Ministry to adopt a series of measures for improving services to domestic pilgrims, including renovation of Mina tents and the early allocation of tents.
"The early handover of tents to companies will help reduce expenses," said Fadhl bin Mohammed Al-Jahoury, a member of the Coordination Council. The companies urged the ministry to set out a new mechanism to distribute tents, as well as the newly constructed residential towers in Mina.
The ministry was also told to give special considerations to those companies that provide low-cost services to reduce their expenses.
"The existing tents in Mina should be renovated and their air conditioning systems should be changed," the council said.
The companies complained against the late supply of water in Mina, adding that it was delaying maintenance and the repair of tents and toilets. "We also need separate kitchens," they added.
They welcomed the mechanism followed by the ministry during the last Haj season, as it allocated tents after taking into consideration the capacities of companies.
They urged the ministry to publish a directory of conditions and instructions to be followed by Haj firms. "It will also enable monitoring committees to assess the performance of companies and prevent negative practices. This directory should include safety requirements set out by the Civil Defense."
The ministry was also urged to develop its electronic services in order to cover all services, including the renewal of licenses.
Al-Jahoury said the council's proposals would be presented to Haj Minister Bandar Hajjar shortly to take action. The council recently held a workshop at the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry with the participation of more than 100 officials.
In a previous statement, Hajjar said his ministry has no plan to increase the number of domestic Haj service companies due to the shortage of space in Mina, which can accommodate only 210,000 domestic pilgrims. "We can increase their number only when we have more space in Mina," he added.


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