With bridge dismantled, Mataf capacity will rise

Updated 05 April 2016
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With bridge dismantled, Mataf capacity will rise

MAKKAH: After four years of use, the temporary Mataf is being dismantled. Once the structure is removed, up to 30,000 worshippers will be able to perform tawaf (circumambulation of the Kaaba) per hour, which is an increase of over 20,000 per hour compared to previous times.

The dismantling is carried out according to a work plan that involves pulling apart the structure one section at a time, and done around the clock. The authorities plan to finish the job before Ramadan, which starts on June 6, depending on the sighting of the moon.
The dismantling was initiated on the orders of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, the crown prince, the deputy crown prince and the governor of Makkah because the expansion project of the Haram Mosque is now complete.
The head of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, said the recent developments should be credited to King Salman. He said that it was on his directions that the work took place, including a number of workshops and meetings held with parties that have the direct bearing on the work. These included the technical committee in the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, the technical committee in the Education Ministry, the Finance Ministry, the executing contractor (Bin Laden Group) and the project advisers of Dar Al-Handasah.
This is in addition to the various security authorities, including the Grand Mosque Emergency Force, Special Haj and Umrah Force and the Civil Defense Security Force, who laid out an operations plan for the stages of dismantlement of the temporary Mataf bridge.
Al-Sudais added that there are now alternative routes to the Mataf for the elderly and physically challenged, as well as exit and entry points to ensure the safety of worshippers.
Additionally, there are currently four cranes inside the Mataf area, including a crane on the Haram surface to dismantle parts to the eastern side of the Salam Gate, to enable the dismantling process to be done in successive parts.


Saudi Arabia gains membership to IAEA's board of governors for two years

Updated 11 min 14 sec ago

Saudi Arabia gains membership to IAEA's board of governors for two years

RIYADH:  Saudi Arabia has won membership to the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency for a period of two years, Saudi Press Agency reported.  
The board is responsible for making most of the policy of the IAEA. It makes recommendations to the general conference on IAEA activities and budget.