In a first, Delhi is set to launch a fully sponsored pilgrimage for senior citizens aged above 60 years on July 12. Announcing the development, Revenue Minister Kailash Gahlot Wednesday said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will flag off the pilgrimage on July 12, to different locations in India.
The 'Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana' will include travel, stay, and food for the senior citizens, Gahlot said.
He said the first trip of on the Delhi-Amritsar-Wagah Border-Anandpur Sahib corridor, via train, will be flagged off by Kejriwal on July 12 evening from Safdarjung railway station and the group will be back on July 16.
"The second tour on the Delhi-Vaishno Devi-Jammu corridor will be from July 20 to 24," he said.
The beneficiaries are selected on a first-come-first-served basis and 77,000 people -- 1,100 from each of the 70 Assembly constituencies in Delhi -- will be sent on pilgrimage every year, the minister said.
The scheme got the Cabinet's nod in January, 2018.
When asked about the delay in the first trip under the scheme, Gahlot said, "A lot of work has been done to develop the software. The revenue department received applications from all over Delhi, which were processed thoroughly. The approved applications were transferred to the Delhi Tourism Department, which examined them and sent them to IRCTC. Once the applications were finalised, the Delhi Tourism Department and IRCTC initiated the booking process."
The other three routes covered under the scheme are Delhi-Mathura-Vrindavan-Agra-Fatehpur Sikri-Delhi, Delhi-Haridwar-Rishikesh-Neelkanth-Delhi, and Delhi-Ajmer-Pushkar-Delhi.
Delhi residents who are over 60 years and have a certificate from their local MLA saying that they live in the particular constituency can apply for the scheme.
For those above 70 years, the government will also bear the expense of an attendant who is over 21 years.
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