Posted on: Saturday 27 October, 2012 5:23
|Plan under way to build moving walkway in Mina
Plans are afoot to construct a 3,000-meter-long moving walkway next year to facilitate movement of pilgrims inside the holy sites, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Rural and Municipal Affairs.
Habib Zainul Abideen, who is in charge of the ministry’s development projects in the holy sites, said the walkway will be similar to the ones in major airports and will be built inside a pedestrian tunnel, Al-Watan newspaper reported Friday.
Currently, two vital projects are being implemented in the holy sites by the ministry: Al-Shi’aibain Tunnel, which will link Al-Shi’aibain area in Al-Moaisim neighborhood, close to Mina, with the third floor of Al-Jamarat Complex. The six-kilometer-long tunnel will serve 600,000 pilgrims who camp in the Al-Shi’aibain area.
The second project is a 350-meter-long tunnel, which will link Al-Aziziyah neighborhood, close to Mina, with Al-Jamarat Complex. The tunnel will save pilgrims the trouble of taking the current tunnel used by vehicles to reach Mina. “This project will finish in seven months,” Zainul Abideen said.
Regarding the construction projects in Mina, Zainul Abideen said the ministry has completed a study and sent it to the Makkah and Holy Sites Development Commission for approval.
“We have two feasible options: either we build two-floor tents or 12-floor buildings in the northern side of Mina,” he said.
?The project will create additional space to accommodate 1.5 million more pilgrims, according to Zainul Abideen.
Civil Defense warning
The Directorate General of Civil Defense has warned pilgrims against resting and sleeping in pedestrian paths, including tunnels, as such actions might hinder pilgrims’ movement and could lead to stampedes.
The Civil Defense sent tens of thousands of messages to educate the pilgrims against the dangerous trend. The messages advised the pilgrims to follow instructions and directives from security people.
The pilgrims were also warned against gathering at the mouths of tunnels and around accident scenes.
The awareness bulletins also cautioned pilgrims not to litter in pedestrian tunnels and to follow instructions and use emergency exits in case of crowding inside the tunnels.