Train under senior citizen pilgrimage scheme flagged off from Berhampur

Berhampur: As many as 1,060 pilgrims embarked on a journey from Berhampur to south India today as part of Odisha government’s Barishtha Nagarika Tirtha Yojana (senior citizen pilgrimage scheme).

Through video conferencing, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today flagged off a train under which senior citizens from Ganjam, Nayagarh, Boudh and Kandhamal districts will visit various pilgrimage sites across south India.

After a 6-day journey, the train is scheduled to return on February 20. As per reports, nearly 9000 senior citizens have visited different pilgrimage sites under the scheme in different phases.

“We are very happy as all arrangements have been properly made,” a devotee Bilas Dei said.

Speaking about the arrangements for the pilgrimage, Ganjam collector, Bijay Amrut Kulange said “Administration will take all steps to ensure that the pilgrims travel in comfort.”

“The State government has allocated Rs 11 crore for Barishtha Nagarika Tirtha Yojana scheme. This year it will be the 10th edition during which the pilgrims will visit different places of south India,” Culture and Tourism minister, Ashok Panda said.

The Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) for smooth management of tour plans.