Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on December 5, 2018 launched the 'Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana' which offers free travel packages for senior citizens from Delhi to five religious circuits. 1,100 senior citizens from every constituency of Delhi will be able to avail this facility at one go.
Under this free pilgrimage scheme, a Delhi resident above 60 years will be eligible to take free pilgrimage along with his or her spouse.
The scheme was approved by the Delhi Government on July 9, 2018. Earlier, the Delhi Cabinet had on January 8, 2018 approved the Revenue Department's proposal to begin with the Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana.
Keys facts and figures
• 1100 senior citizens from each Assembly Constituency would now undertake free pilgrimage every year, the expenses for which will be borne by the government.
• A total of 77000 pilgrims will be able to avail this facility every year.
• On an average, the scheme will incur a cost of Rs 7000 per pilgrim.
• The pilgrimage duration will be of 3 days and 2 nights.
a) Delhi-Mathura-Vrindavan-Agra-fatehpur Sikri-Delhi
d) Delhi-Amritsar-Bagha Border-Anandpur Sahib-Delhi
e) Delhi-Vaishno Devi-Jammu-Delhi
Eligibility for availing of the scheme
• Any resident of Delhi above 60 years of age will be eligible for the scheme.
• The applicant can also take along an attendant above the age of 20 years, if the he or his spouse is above 70 years. The expenditure of the attendant will also be borne by the Delhi government.
• There is no income criterion but preference will be given to those from economically weaker sections on first-come-first-serve basis.
• Employees of central, state and local government or autonomous bodies are not eligible for the scheme.
• Those selected for pilgrimage will be covered with an insurance of Rs 1 lakh each.
• The applicant will have to give a self-certificate that all information being given by them is correct and they have not availed the scheme in the past.
Selection of pilgrims
The selection of pilgrims will be done through draw of lots and respective area MLAs will certify whether the intended beneficiaries belong to Delhi or not.
Procedure for application
All application forms will be available online and shall be filed online either through Office of Divisional Commissioner or office of respective MLA or office of Tirth Yatra Committee.
Documents required for Tirth Yatra Scheme
The documents required for the scheme are - Voter ID card of the applicant, Self Declaration by applicant, Certificate regarding proof of residency from area MLA and a Medical Certificate of the applicant.
The journey will be performed through Indian Railways.
To facilitate a seamless coordination for the scheme, the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation Ltd (DTTDC) had signed an MoU with the Indian Railways and Catering Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), Ministry of Railways.
The facility provided under the scheme would be non-AC trains with 15 coaches that will have a government doctor and paramedical staff on board. To provide security, there will be one unarmed security guard and one tour escort.
The package offers accommodation, meals and insurance for all participating senior citizens. All trains will leave from Safdarjung railway station.