Special pilgrimage train for senior citizens

A special pilgrimage train for senior citizens, under the Baristha Nagarika Tirtha Yatra Yojana, has been flagged off from Sambalpur station by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The train will take senior citizens to Shirdi, Nasik and Trimbakeshwar during the seven-day tour.

As many as 998 senior citizens from 10 districts of the western region of the state boarded the train after the flag off , which was performed through video conferencing.

People in the age group of 60-75 years are eligible to avail the benefit of the plan. Senior citizens from below poverty line (BPL) categories are given 100 per cent concessions under the scheme. One escort officer is also appointed for every 50 senior citizens for helping them during the journey.

The Odisha government has signed an MoU with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) for the pilgrimage plan. As per the agreement, IRCTC will provide all requisite facilities to the pilgrims in the train.

This is for the second time that the pilgrimage train was flagged off from Sambalpur station. In November 2016, 986 senior citizens from across the region had visited places like Haridwar and Rishikesh as part of the pilgrimage plan.