The Hajj Corporation has reached the limit of its quota of 370 slots for this year’s Hajj pilgrims as hundreds continued to queue outside its registration offices in Dharubaaruge.
The announcement that the limit has been reached in the early hours of Tuesday led to voices of discord among the hundreds in line. Police later assisted in dispersing the crowds of would-be pilgrims gathered at the location.
The state owned Hajj Corporation has reserved 30 of the 400 slots it received – half of the total quota allowed to the Maldives from the Saudi Arabian government – for the security forces and other officials who will be performing Hajj while assisting pilgrims.
The remaining 400 slots are reserved for those who wish to apply to join the pilgrimage through private hajj groups, though the Anti Corruption Commission has called for the groups’ bidding process to be revised.
Each pilgrim needs to pay MVR 69,965 (US$4,537) as total payment to the Hajj Corporation. Those who have previously performed the Hajj pilgrimage are not eligible to apply via the state corporation.
On Tuesday morning, the Hajj Corporation commenced accepting applications and payments from those who wishes to perform Hajj pilgrimage in the next year.
Under a programme termed ‘Long term initiative to fulfill Hajj pilgrimage saving package’, the corporation will be accepting applications for 2015 until 2pm on Wednesday afternoon (March 5).