Srinagar: In a first, Srinagar based travel agency -Raj Baba tour and travels has been authorized to issue visa for Hajj and Umrah aspirants of the Valley.
This is the first time that any travel agency has been granted the permission to issue visa else the aspirants had to apply for Visa in New Delhi.
“In Jammu and Kashmir there are many Hajj and Umrah tour operators and they are doing their business successfully but for Visa they have to spend more than 10 days in Delhi or in Mumbai for Visa, but now our company has received a registration license from Saudi embassy, now Umrah tour operators can come to our office in Meerak Abad SKAUST Road, Shalimar with passport and get Visa,” said Javid Ahmad owner of Raj Baba tour and travels
Ahmed added that they have been trying for registration from last three years and finally their company became first one in J&K to get the authority of issuing Visas.
For visa Umrah and Hajj operators have to go for Delhi or Mumbai as the visa agents are there.
President of Jammu and Kashmir Association of Hajj and Umhrah Companies Feroz Ahmad Sheikh said it will save them lot to time. “Hajj and Umrah tour operators won’t face hardship now and can get the visa here,” said
“It was taking our time as well as money, and at the end we were charging accordingly to the people who wanted to go for Umrah or Hajj, Now we have this service in Kashmir and 75 Tour companies can avail the service in Srinagar,” he further added.
Last year almost 28000 people went for Umrah and this year near about 25000 people are going to perform Umrah through the private Hajj and Umrah tour operators Sheikh said.
He also raised the issue of long waiting hours at the airport while going for pilgrimage.
“I would like CEO of Haj House to take up the issue with airport authority so that pilgrims are provided a waiting slot inside the airport where Pilgrims can be served well.” he said.