Workers are in a race against time to complete construction work on expansion work on the holy mosque in Makkah ahead of this year’s Hajj season with sources claiming 95 per cent of the work has now been completed.
The expansion project had been initiated by the late Saudi King Abdullah, who was also the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (In Makkah and Medina). The project’s aim was to increase capacity of the mosque for pilgrims to 105,000 per hour.
Nearly 30-months after work began, workers are busy trying to complete the third and final phase of the expansion, which began last Hajj season. This phase of the expansion is expected to be completed later this year.
The foundation of the eastern part of Mataf area was laid after all ceiling lamps and chandeliers were removed and the pillars were demolished from the project site and minarets were removed from the Al-Fatah Gate.
The Mataf bridge was linked to the ground floor and the first floor was dedicated to people with disabilities.
Temporary fences have been put up in the area where the work is ongoing. All of the fences and the temporary rings that are installed for Tawwaf are expected to be taken off at end of the current Islamic year.
The director of the project, Sultan Al-Qurashi had revealed that project would comprise three phases and would be completed in three years.
The first phase was to cover Al-Safa to Al- Fatah Gate; the second -- Al-Fatah Gate to Al-Umrah Gate; and the third King Fahad expansion area to Al-Safa.
After the completion of the third phase and other foundations are laid with ceilings put up, work is expected to begin on the King Abdulaziz Gate.
A new pedestrian road leading to Arafat from Makkah is also near completion and is expected to open for public before the next Hajj season.
Once complete, it will be among the longest walkways in the world, revealed Hisham Shilly, Director of the municipality’s department of parks and public utilities.
This article originally appeared on Al-Arabiya
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