We are perturbed by the likelihood of repetition of last year’s heartbreaking failure of the schedule of hajj flights from Dhaka. It was a pitiful sight to watch aged pilgrims lamenting their fate for not getting the visa or the flight schedule on time. Hajj is an annual event of the Muslim world, taking place at a preordained time and place, for hundreds of years. As such, planning, organising and arranging the travel schedules, residences and other logistics for the preregistered pilgrims is not rocket science. Rather, now with the advent of technology it should be a simple matter of timely submission of related papers and letting the system take care of the whole process.
Yet every year thousands of Bangladeshi pilgrims are forced to suffer uncertainty at the last minute with regard to their travel documents and flight schedule. This is deeply traumatic for the pilgrims whose hearts are set on the holy journey. Such calamitous occurrences repeat every year due to incompetent agencies which cannot complete the necessary paperwork which are prerequisites for the pilgrims getting the visa on time. It may be due to negligence or lack of time management skills on the part of the agencies concerned. Such incompetency should not be condoned year after year, as it seriously disrupts the hajj flight schedules, severely distresses pilgrims and inflicts heavy financial loss on airlines.Hajj agencies must upgrade their management skills necessary to handle the schedule of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims within a narrow time scale each year. With each passing year the expertise of the hajj agencies should increase as the problems faced each year will be a lesson learnt for improving their service the following year. But we fail to see such improvement happening in the services offered as there seems to be a lack of will on the part of the agencies to enhance service with the passage of time. They know that come what may, pilgrims will travel to perform hajj every year, so they are secure in their business. We expect the government to strictly prohibit any agency failing to perform up to the desired competency in any given year.