Saudi Gazette – The number of ministries and government departments involved in Haj services will be reduced to cut down their presence in the Holy Sites, according to informed sources.
They said the decision, issued by the Supreme Authority, will exempt the departments concerned with security, justice and health.
Though the Ministry of Justice will be present through its courts and circuits to consider legal issues during Haj, there will not be any presence of the Supreme Judicial Council or the High Court in the Holy Sites.
Meanwhile, Emir of Makkah Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, who is the chairman of the Central Haj Committee, on Sunday handed over the Kaaba kiswa to the chief custodian of the House of Allah Saleh Bin Zainul Abideen Al-Sheebi.
The Kaaba will have new kiswa on Dhul Hijja 9, the day of the Standing in Arafat.
The Al-Sheebi clan have been the carriers of the Kaaba key since the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Meanwhile, Civil Defense teams in the Grand Mosque in Makkah were able to rescue more than 170 pilgrims who collapsed as a result of heat exhaustion and fatigue.
Director of the Civil Defense Lt. Gen. Sulaiman Al-Amr said they have mobilized more than 17,000 personnel supplied with more than 3,000 vehicles and rescue equipment to provide maximum degree of safety to pilgrims.
Director of the Civil Defense in Makkah Brig. Ahmed Al-Dilaiwi said 110 fire fighting units were set up to deal with fires and any other emergency situations.
He said the teams will be working from 37 field centers and 14 newly established seasonal locations in Makkah and the Holy Sites.
Director of traffic in Makkah Col. Bassem Al-Badri said plans were made and would be thoroughly implemented to ensure the smooth traffic movement in Makkah and the Holy Sites.
He said the central area around the Haram would be dedicated to pedestrians.
Badri said that so far 3368 vehicles were confiscated for various violations in addition to 1,180 unlicensed motorbikes. “So far we have registered a total of 10,029 traffic violations including 4,876 wrong parking,” he said.
Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdul Rahman Al-Fadli said that more than 18 million cubic meters of water would be distributed in Makkah and the Holy Sites during Haj. He inaugurated a number of water storage tanks in Moaissem in Mina which will be operational for the first time during the Haj.
Moaissem hosts the slaughterhouses.
Bakeries in Makkah, Jeddah and Taif have completed preparations to produce about 150 million pieces of bread during Haj at a daily average of 10m pieces.
Chairman of the committee of bakeries at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) Faiz Hamadah said the production of bread this year was less than the previous year where 14 million pieces of bread were baked every day.
He said there would be four million pieces of bread as reserves to meet any emergency situation.