AHMEDABAD: The Ahmedabad Regional Passport Office issued over 500 short-term passports to the Haj pilgrims in the last one week.
The reason behind this speedy job is the announcement of new norms by the Haj Committee of India. According to the new norms a application without a valid passport will not be considered. Gujarat has a quota of 3,250 pilgrims.
Regional passport officer Anita Shukla said, “We had received instruction from the head office to issue short-term passports with a validity of one year. These passports were to be issued even if the police verification was pending. In the last week, we issued over 500 fresh passports for those wanting to travel for Haj.”
The new guidelines announced by the Haj Committee of India will be applicable for aspirants for the next year's pilgrimage. The new rules came in the backdrop of new guidelines of the Saudi Arabian government that only valid passport holders could apply for Haj.
In the mean time, the Haj Committee received about 36,800 applications from the aspirants against its quota of 3,250.