Agencies | 25 Jumadal Ukhra 1437/04 April 2016

Work on dismantling the temporary Mataf bridge began while ensuring all safety measures at the Grand Mosque here on Sunday.

The work will be carried out around the clock to meet the deadline of Ramadan, an official was quoted as saying by local media on Sunday.

“The temporary bridge will be dismantled by Shabaan 20, 1437 A.H. (about 10 days before Ramadan month begins),” said Faisal Wafa, head of the Mataf Technical Committee in Umm Al Qura University.

“The mosque’s security, civil defense, Umm Al-Qura Technical Committee and the project contractor are coordinating with each other to ensure total safety.”

Wafa, who is also a staff member of Umm Al-Qura University, said the purpose behind the construction of the temporary bridge has been served. “It is time it should be demolished,” he said.

He said the contractor of the expansion project is carrying out the demolition process in collaboration with the security forces of the Grand Mosque, the Civil Defense and the technical committee to ensure the highest degree of safety for the pilgrims.

Wafa said trucks to remove the debris will enter the mataf area through Al-Shabakiyah area.

He said the the first floor of the mataf has been dedicated for pilgrims using hand-pushed wheelchairs while the mezzanine floor will be used by pilgrims on electric chairs.

Wafa said the entire third phase of the expansion project from Al-Shamiyah area, all mataf floors and the ceiling will be ready for use during Ramadan.

He said the new mataf area will allow about 107,000 pilgrims circumambulate the Kaba in an hour.

Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, head of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, said in a statement that the temporary bridge is not needed now because the Mataf expansion project has been completed.

Al-Sudais urged the elderly people and the handicapped who rely on wheelchairs to use the alternative track of the Mataf bridge and follow guidelines and instructions with regard to entry and exit.