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Bridge around Kaaba to be demolished by next month: authorities

RIYADH: The work on demolition of mataf (makeshift bridge facilitating circumambulation of Holy Kaaba) is likely to be completed by May 27, said the authorities.

Bakri bin Matouk Asas, director of Umm Al-Qura University and chairman of the committee, said the mataf, the circumambulation area around the Kaaba, only allowed 48,000 pilgrims an hour during the expansion, reported the Arab News.

Don’t miss: The Kaaba over the years — in pictures

After removal of bridge, the area would accommodate 107,000 pilgrims, he said.

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The temporary bridge was erected in August 2013 to reduce congestion in the Grand Mosque due to the implementation of the third phase of its expansion.

The demolition has begun on the western side of King Fahd Expansion Project as the area is ready to receive pilgrims and visitors.

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

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He said 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.

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