Batala, Jan 18: A special train carrying 1,000 devotees was on Monday, Jan 18 flagged off for Sachkhand Sri Hazur Sahib in Nanded of Maharashtra, from here.
The devotees are being sent on pilgrimage by Punjab government under its 'Mukh Mantri Tirath Yatra' programme.
"The Punjab government has been working relentlessly to preserve and promote the precious heritage of the state. It is our duty to transfer Punjab's rich cultural legacy to the future generations," Former Speaker of Punjab Assembly, Nirmal Singh Kahlon said after flagging off the special train today.
"Furthermore, the cultural heritage will also boost tourism in the state and will be critical in building sustainable visitor economy," Kahlon said.
'Mukh Mantri Tirath Yatra Yojana' is yet another attempt of the Punjab government to preserve and promote majestic culture and royal heritage of Punjab, he added. Gurdaspur Deputy Commissioner Abhinav Trikha on the occasion informed that apart from the trains to the famous Sikh pilgrimage, trains to Varanasi and Ajmer Sharif will also start.
"11 Tirth yatra trains are proposed to run in January and February under this scheme. Trains to Katra for Vaishno Devi shrine and Chennai for San Thome Basilica built over tomb of St Thomas are also in the offing," he said.
Free bus transportation to Salasar in Rajasthan and Chintpurni in Himachal Pradesh would also be provided to pilgrims under this scheme.
Under the plan, about 1,000 persons from each of the 117 constituencies have been selected for the pilgrimages. An amount of approximately Rs 187 crore has been earmarked for the scheme.