Arvind Kejriwal approves 'tirth yatra yojna'; senior citizens can undertake free pilgrimage
New Delhi, Jul 9: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal approved the 'Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana' for senior citizens under which the Delhi government will bear the expenses of 77,000 pilgrims every year. The chief minister also overruled all objections raised by Lt Governor Anil Baijal, days after the Supreme Court verdict on power tussle between the Delhi government and the Centre.
"Mukhyamantri teerth yatra yojana approved. All objections overruled..." Kejriwal tweeted. Delhi residents above the age of 60 are covered under this scheme. The government said that those selected, will be allowed to be accompanied by an attendant aging 18 years or above and their expenditure will also be borne by the city administration.
The Delhi Cabinet had on January 8 approved the revenue department's proposal to begin the titled 'Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana', but it could not implemented due to some objections raised by the LG's office. According to the government, the scheme will enable 1,100 senior citizens from each of 70 assembly constituencies of Delhi every year to undertake free pilgrimage. The pilgrimage duration will be of three days and two nights, the government said.
Delhi-Mathura-Vrindavan-Agra-Fatehpur Sikri-Delhi; Delhi-Haridwar-Rishikesh-Neelkanth-Delhi; Delhi-Ajmer-Pushkar-Delhi, Delhi-Amritsar-Bagha Border-Anandpur Sahib-Delhi; and Delhi-Vaishno Devi-Jammu-Delhi are the routes covered under the free pilgrimage scheme.
"The applicant will have to give a self-attested certificate that all information being given by them is correct and they have not availed the scheme in the past. "Those selected for the pilgrimage will be covered with an insurance of Rs 1 lakh each," the government said in a statement.
It said that travel will be arranged in air-conditioned buses through coach tours of the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) and boarding, lodging and food along with pilgrimage will be paid for by the government. All application forms will be available online and will be filed either through the Office of Divisional Commissioner or the office of respective MLA or the office of Tirth Yatra Committee.
The selection of pilgrims will be done through draw of lots and respective area MLA will have to certify the residents as belonging to Delhi. All other modalities will be specified in the final notification.