General President of the Affairs of the Holy Mosque at Makkah and the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah Shaikh Salih bin Abdelrahman Al-Hussein has announced a comprehensive plan to improve facilities for Hajj participants, the Saudi Gazette reported today. Three million pilgrims are expected to take part in the pilgrimage this year.
The new plan calls for greater security, more convenient transportation, a constant supply of water and the availability of hygiene facilities for worshippers at the Grand Mosque. Thousands of booklets in several languages have been distributed to enlighten pilgrims on the correct rituals for the Hajj.
A staff of 6,085 people, including 1,756 regular employees, 1,800 temporary employees and 2,500 skilled workers have been utilized to offer general and technical advice, as well as cultural and educational services. A labor force of 3,000 people has been tasked with keeping the Grand Mosque clean.
Measures have been put in place to help the disabled, including the availability 100,000 wheelchairs and 8 electric escalators.
The security force around the ground mosque will more than double, with a security force of 700 guarding all entrances. Entryways and exits are being closely monitored by guards and cameras in order to avoid suffocation and overcrowding.
The Kingdom is spending billions of dollars to assure pilgrims of a peaceful Hajj, noted Al Hussein.