Srinagar: Exposing the status of ‘Srinagar International Airport’, two flights carrying Hajj pilgrims from Jeddah could not land on Thursday evening and had to return to New Delhi.
Aggrieved at the announcement, attendants of over eight hundred pilgrims staged anti-government and anti-India protest.
“This is shame. In present era of technology, we don’t have facility at so-called international airport that a flight can arrive in the evening,” Nazir Ahmad, who was waiting to receive his family members at the airport told news agency GNS.
According to officials, two Hajj flights carrying 420 pilgrims each from Saudi Arabia were scheduled to arrive at 4:15 pm and 5:35 pm. However, sources said, the flights were returned to New Delhi.
No officials could be contacted. Minister for state for Haj & Auqaf Farooq Ahmad Andrabi and government spokesman Naeem Akhtar could not be contacted as their phones were switched off.
Recently, a high-level meeting discussed various issues relating to arrival of Hajj flights, reception, arrival timings, airlifting of luggage and Aab-e-Zam Zam, deployment of Home Guards volunteers, vehicle passes to attendants and transport arrangements for pilgrims.
The government had directed concerned officers to ensure un-interrupted power supply at Hajj House, medical facilities, fire and emergency services, sanitation in and around Hajj House, regulation of traffic, security, public address system.
“What of these facilities when you cannot provide landing system at evening,” Gulzar Ahmad, another attendant said.