As part of its recently notified ‘Mukhyamantri Dev Darshan Yatra Yojana’, the State government will send 2,000 senior citizens in two groups on a free pilgrimage tour from December 1.
“The six-day tour is to begin from December 1. Two trains leave from Margao railway station with 1,000 citizens each. One team of 1,000 senior citizens will be sent to Shirdi and another group will be sent to Vailankani,” said Social Welfare Minister Milind Naik, while announcing the implementation of the scheme at a news conference.
According to Naik, the government will spend a whopping Rs 1.5 crore on each tour of 1,000 pilgrims. The entire food and travel expenses will also be borne by the government.
He said the tourism department and the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will facilitate the travel, stay and
Naik appealed to senior citizens to register for the free pilgrimage tour, informing them that forms will be available at collectorate or social welfare department offices, which they will have to submit.
“The government has kept options open to increase the tour trips. If the number of people registered is more, we will cater to them in the second round,” said Naik.
“The government will send four people as official caretakers for every 100 tourists. Another person can go on his own expense to accompany the senior citizen,” said Naik.
“The procedure for applying for the tour is simple and applicants just have to submit a voter card and an Aadhar card,” he added.
The Government has fast-tracked the implementation of the pilgrimage scheme after the Aam Aadmi Party National Convener Arvind Kejriwal had also announced free pilgrimage tours on the lines of Delhi model if voted into power.