Sambalpur: 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, flagged off through video conferencing yesterday, will take senior citizens to Shirdi, Nasik and Trimbakeshwar during the seven-day tour, District Tourist Officer, Rabindra Dalei said. As many as 998 senior citizens from 10 districts of the western region of the state boarded the train.
The Odisha government has signed an MoU with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation for the pilgrimage plan on the basis of which the company will provide all requisite facilities to the pilgrims in the train, he said.
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, Dalei said. One escort officer was appointed for every 50 senior citizens for helping them during the journey, Dalei said.
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. Odisha Labour and Energy Susant Singh, Sambalpur District Collecto, Samarth Verma and Sambalpur MLA, Raseswari Panigrahi were present at the station yesterday.