Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sambalpur, Nov 22:
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today flagged off a pilgrimage train from Khetrajpur railway station as a part of the free pilgrimage scheme for senior citizens in the state.
The train, carrying more than 1000 senior citizens, left for Rishikesh and Haridwar, sources said.
Notably, this is the third such train flagged off by Patnaik.
The Chief Minister had earlier flagged off a pilgrimage train for the first time from Berhampur railway station in July this year.
Worth mentioning, except income tax payee and retired government employees, all people irrespective of their religion after attaining 60 years are eligible to go on tours to holy places under the scheme. One person can avail the benefit once in their lifetime.
The state government would bear the entire tour expenditure of devotees including travel, accommodation, and medical expenses. The tours will be arranged through trains and buses.
The Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) for smooth management of the tour plans.