Malappuram: Amid huge cry for the restoration of state Haj camp and embarkation point at Calicut International Airport in Karipur, the annual Haj pact signed between India and Saudi Arabia has missed the northern Kerala airport as one of the embarkation points in the country.
The agreement was inked by the minister of state for minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi with the kingdom's Haj and Umrah minister Dr Mohammed Saleh bin Taher Benten in Jeddah on Wednesday.
The exclusion of Karipur has marred the possibilities of the restoration of the camp and caused confusion over the moves of the state government as Mr Naqvi had earlier promised a positive step from the Centre in this regard.
“We have decided to fly Delhi on Monday to meet Mr Naqvi and Union civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapati Raju to discuss the issue,” the state Haj minister K.T. Jaleel told DC.
The team of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) who examined the strengthened runway recently had expressed satisfaction over its capabilities. The report is under the consideration of the DGCA.
“As the tender process of Haj services is yet to be finalised (which is expected to begin next month) we are expecting a positive response,” he said. The shifting of state’s only Haj camp and embarkation point to Cochin International Airport in 2015 followed by a ban on wide-bodied aircraft in Karipur had caused difficulties for a majority of the pilgrims who were from the northern districts....