Dehradun: The last date for submission of applications for this year's Haj pilgrimage has been extended from March 20 to March 30.

People aspiring to go on Haj pilgrimage can now submit their applications latest by March 30 instead of March 20, Uttarakhand Haj Committee Chief Haji Rao Sher Muhammad said in Dehradun on Thursday.

The date has been extended for the convenience of Haj pilgrims, he said, adding that the process for issuing passports to the applicants has also been simplified.

They are being issued passports on the very day their police verification reports are being received, the state Haj Committee Chief said.

Announcing that efforts are underway by the committee to increase the limit on the number of Haj pilgrims in a year beyond 2,000, Muhammad said he has sent several letters in this regard to the Prime Minister, the External Affairs Minister and the Chief Minister and is optimistic about a positive outcome.

Muhammad informed that repeater Haj pilgrims have been permitted to undertake the pilgrimage on certain conditions like no subsidy will be given to male companions accompanying a female or a 70-year-old pilgrim going on the journey for a second time.

Those accompanying repeater Hajis will also be charged full air fare for their onward and return journeys, he said quoting a communication from the Ministry of External Affairs dated March 21.

Repeater Haj pilgrims with someone accompanying them on the journey will also have to give a written undertaking on a performa affidavit prepared by Mumbai Haj Committee in this regard prior to the journey, the state Haj Committee Chief said.

(Agencies)

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