Udaipur Hajj pilgrims have been duped in the past: Portal to register operators
PTO portal ensures that the full process related to Hajj becomes completely transparent. The operators, who used to get limited quotas till now, used to charge heavy amounts for the pilgrimage. These operators, through their agents, come up with various schemes and dupe the pilgrims
Launch of the Private Tour Operators registration portal for the Hajj Pilgrimage will eliminate fraud concerns of Pilgrims to a large extent. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Union Minister of Minority Affairs has said that the operators for Umrah pilgrimage tour for Muslim pilgrims will also soon be taken online.
On Dec 14 2017, the Ministry had unveiled the Hajj Private Tour Operators portal, which made it mandatory for all Hajj applications to be processed only through those operators who had registered on the portal. The Minister said that with the Private Tour Operators (PTOs) getting impaneled on the portal, the Pilgrims will be at ease as far as the credentials and rates of the various registered operators are concerned. The Ministry will individually validate the credentials of all the registered operators and allocate quotas accordingly.
Taking the readers back to 2014-17, plenty of Hajj pilgrims from Udaipur have been subject to fraud by the operators. The Pilgrims used to pay advance money to the operators but then, the Hajj tour never used to happen for them. Excuses could be as lame as flight tickets and non availability of Visas. Fraudulent tour operators from Ahmedabad and other areas of Gujarat used to coerce the innocent pilgrims Udaipur and nearby areas into paying them for the trip, which never culminated. Once, a group was even allotted a hotel in Mumbai as a preliminary part of the journey and the operator just vanished into thin air with their money, leaving them stranded. Some of the victims had their entire lives savings wiped out by these criminal operators.
The minister, while launching the portal pointed out that the PTO portal ensures that the full process related to Hajj becomes completely transparent. The operators, who used to get limited quotas till now, used to charge heavy amounts for the pilgrimage. These operators, through their agents, come up with various schemes and dupe the pilgrims. When their registrations become in excess of the allocated quota, they keep the pilgrims stranded and disappear.
Tour operators can register online on the portal with the relevant documents, which will be individually scrutinized by the officials of the Hajj Division of Minority Affairs Ministry. A draw of lots will be conducted online for the approved and registered operators and quotas will be allocated. The portal will also display details on rates, packages and facilities offered by the tour operators pan India. The pilgrims will be having the ease of chosing their tour operator, even if not associated to their region. Applications for 2018 have begun to be invited both online as well as manually.
The Ministry also stated that if any discrepancies in facilities for the pilgrims, it will be dealt with strictly and not be tolerated. Till December end, approximately 3 lakh pilgrims had applied for the Hajj, of which more than 50% were online applications.
With Saudi government increasing the Hajj quota for 2017 to 1,70,000 the Minister said that the distribution of quota for 2018 between the Hajj Committee and PTOs has been retained similar to 2017, while new Hajj policy will dictate procedure for Hajj 2018.Source Courtesy: Media Reports