New Delhi: The Delhi government will send senior citizens of the city on free pilgrimage to Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan on January 5 next year, an official statement said on Friday.
Kartarpur Sahib and Velankanni Church in Tamil Nadu have been added to the ‘Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojna’ after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s orders, it said.
“The first batch of pilgrims to Kartarpur Sahib will leave on January 5, 2022 in a deluxe bus from Delhi, and the first train for Velankanni Church will leave on January 7 next year,” it said.
Meanwhile, Delhi Revenue Minister Kailash Gahlot reviewed preparations for the pilgrimages under the scheme in a high-level meeting on Friday.
“The Delhi government has decided to add two more routes in addition to the existing 13 yatra routes, Delhi-Velankanni-Delhi and Delhi-Kartarpur Sahib-Delhi, under its Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra scheme,” the statement said.
The devotees will travel in AC-III tier trains on the Delhi-Velankanni-Delhi route whereas for the Kartarpur Sahib, they will be given seats in air-conditioned buses, the statement added.
The statement said 15,000 applicants, who had applied for the yatra under the scheme in 2019, but could not avail the facility due to COVID-19 pandemic would receive SMSs, informing them about the option of amending their applications for choosing Delhi-Ayodhya-Delhi route.
The Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana, under which senior citizens of Delhi can go on pilgrimages at the government’s expense, could not be held in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic outbreak.
A total of 1,100 residents per assembly constituency can avail this facility in a year subject to the cap of total 77,000 residents per year. Since its formal launch, 35,080 beneficiaries have travelled under the scheme, the statement added.