JEDDAH: About 30 to 50 percent of the Mashair Railway (Makkah Metro) will be used this Haj season, according to Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Khodairy, undersecretary at Makkah governorate and chairman of the Executive Haj Committee.

Speaking about new services being provided to pilgrims this year, he said: “The expansion of masaa (the running area between Safa and Marwah) has been completed and will facilitate the sai’e ritual of pilgrims.”

“The restriction on small vehicles entering Makkah and the holy sites and the measures taken to stop illegal pilgrims from squatting in public places will also contribute to the success of Haj this year,” he said.

Al-Khodairy chaired a meeting on Tuesday to organize a media campaign to inform the public on Haj regulations and instructions.

Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal will launch another major awareness campaign titled “No Haj Without Permit” on Saturday. The campaign aims at encouraging Saudis and expatriates to obtain Haj permits before proceeding to the holy places for Haj.

Meanwhile, Brig. Ayed Al-Harbi, commander of the Passport Department’s Haj forces, said the awareness campaigns last year were instrumental in helping pilgrims enter the holy places without difficulty.

He stressed the need for translating the content of the campaign into different languages to ensure that the message has been passed on to different nationalities.

He also called for stopping illegal vehicles carrying pilgrims at the first checkpoint to reduce pressure on the main checkpoint.

Al-Harbi referred to the Haj-related information available on the Passport Department’s website, saying that a large number of people from abroad and within the Kingdom have visited the site.

Source: Arab News