Security and monitoring bodies have finished their preparations for the hajj season by manning entrances to Makkah with the necessary employees and equipment.
These entrances will be electronically linked to facilitate the flow of information regarding hajj violators and allow for those who break pilgrimage rules to be instantly questioned and tried.
Sources told Al-Watan daily that all entrances to Makkah have witnessed large improvements and the instant trials will be handled by specialized administrative committees set up for this purpose.
Al-Baheetah Center along Taif Expressway, which is the largest entrance point to Makkah, has been witnessing continued improvements since its inauguration three years ago, the sources said.
They added that this center would be an electronic entrance to Makkah and have an office for the National Information Center to allow for the speedy transfer of information.
Monitoring violators on the expressways will be the responsibility of special forces on the roads, while police and security patrols will monitor other entrances, sources said.
About 2 million pilgrims are expected for this year's hajj, which is scheduled to start on Oct. 2. The first group of pilgrims will arrive here from South Africa on Aug. 25.
Hajj Minister Bandar Hajjar has been inspecting the readiness of Tawafa establishments, which are responsible for guiding pilgrims during their stay in the holy cities, over the past few days.
He urged all hajj-related departments and agencies to take effective measures to expedite arrival and departure procedures of pilgrims to avoid delays at Jeddah and Madinah airports.
“We have to apply modern technology to improve services to the guests of God,” the minister said while speaking to officials of the United Agents, responsible for receiving pilgrims on their arrival in the Kingdom and guide them to their accommodations.
The officials briefed Hajjar on their efforts to reduce the time of stay for pilgrims at airports and other entry points and their deployment of highly qualified employees to extend better services.
This article was first published in Saudi Gazette on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014.