Punjab to facilitate free religious tours for people

Chandigarh, Nov 19 (IANS) If the Punjab government has its way, a number of people from Punjab’s 117 assembly constituencies will soon be heading for pilgrimage.

The Punjab cabinet, at its meeting here on Thursday, approved a scheme ‘Mukh Mantri Tirath Yatra Scheme’ for providing free pilgrimage to sacred cities of Sri Nanded Sahib, Varanasi, Katra (Mata Vaishno Devi) and Ajmer Sharif.

“The state government would organise free trains to these cities for the people from Punjab and also provide other logistic facilities to pilgrims,” a state government spokesman said after the cabinet decision.

The scheme will cost the Punjab government nearly Rs.187 crore.

“Under this ambitious scheme, 1,050 people from each assembly constituency would be offered this facility of free travel to these pilgrimage centres. This scheme would be implemented from January 1, 2016, and the pilgrims would be served food during the travel without any charge,” the spokesman said.

Under the plan, 122,850 people will be selected for the pilgrimage trip.

The beneficiaries for the scheme would be identified by the respective Deputy Commissioners in the state. A cabinet sub-committee comprising of the tourism minister, education minister and transport minister would monitor this scheme.

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