More than 15,000 personnel have been mobilized to start implementing the hajj plan of the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques from Thursday.
Sheikh Abdurahman al-Sudais, head of the presidency, said the plan which will be in force until October 24 (Dhul Hijjah 30), will be based on some pivotal aspects of guidance, education and service, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Al-Sudais said the pilgrims will benefit from the expanded structure of the Grand Mosque. These included the entire ground and first floors of the annex building, and the first and second mezzanine floors. A total area of 167,784 square meters in the annex building and 118,790 square meters of courtyards around the structure will be opened for pilgrims.
He said that pilgrims will also benefit from the first phase of the mataf (circumambulation area around the Holy Kaaba) expansion in Safa-Fath gate area and first phase of the basement, ground, first, and second floors and terrace of the Fath-Umrah gate area. A total of 7,000 pilgrims per hour can use the two levels of the temporary circular bridge designed for the elderly and the disabled. More areas of the mosque have been air-conditioned and these include first floor of the first Saudi expansion from Safa staircase to the middle of King Fahd expansion building.
According to al-Sudais, more than 10,000 toilets and thousands of ablution areas and drinking water spouts have been set up in the courtyards of the mosque. The presidency made elaborate arrangements to enlighten pilgrims on the rituals of hajj as well as to clarify their doubts. Hundreds of preachers will be available to serve the pilgrims and hundreds of thousands of booklets and brochures in major languages will be distributed among the pilgrims.
As part of the arrangements made, more than 10,000 new prayer rugs were spread at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah besides replacing old Zamzam containers with 13,000 new ones and setting up of 26 closed circuit TVs to enlighten and guide the pilgrims.
Meanwhile, Minister of Interior and Chairman of the Supreme hajj Committee Prince Muhammad Bin Naif approved the plan of Civil Defense to meet emergency situations and possible dangers during hajj as well as to ensure safety and security of pilgrims. More than 450 Civil Defense centers in Makkah, Madinah and the holy sites will take part in implementing the plan and they have been supplied with highly advanced equipment and devices, according to Maj. Gen. Suleiman Al-Amr, director general of the Civil Defense.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on September 11, 2014.SHOW MORE