Lucknow, Jan 31: Following an increase in cost and post-Covid rules, there has been a visible decline in the number of people applying for Haj from Uttar Pradesh.
According to the data from the state Haj committee, this year, the state could not even fill its allocated quota despite extending the application deadline by a month, which contrasts with the previous system of selecting pilgrims through a lottery.
By January 15, only 19,702 people had applied for Haj, compared to 26,786 last year. Uttar Pradesh is allocated a quota of 30,000 devotees.
By the original deadline of December 20 last year, only 6,737 applications were received, prompting an extension of the deadline to January 15.
A Haj official said, “The continuous increase in the cost of Haj and the new conditions imposed after the pandemic are major reasons behind this decline. Last year, one person’s Haj cost was Rs 4.24 lakh, excluding the cost of sacrifice.”
Haj is a significant pillar in Islam, and performing this pilgrimage is obligatory for adherents of Islam.
In India, the Haj quota is for 1,75,000 people, with 1,25,000 going through the Haj Committee of India and 50,000 through private tours and travels.