Haryana government announces Tirtha Darshan scheme

A Tirtha Darshan scheme, under which senior citizens of the state will be able to go on pilgrimage within the country on government expenses, was announced in the Haryana Assembly on 6 March 2016. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar informed the house about the scheme prepared state government, during ongoing budget session of Haryana Vidhan Sabha. The government would bear the entire cost of the tour of senior citizens belonging to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. The scheme is reserved for domiciles of Haryana. In case of a couple, the expenses of the spouse belonging to BPL family would also be borne by the government. They would also be able to take along an assistant. In case of senior citizens of non-BPL families, the government would bear only 70 per cent of the cost. The senior citizens would be selected for the pilgrimage on the basis of draw of lots. There are more than 400 destinations which can be visited under the scheme. Under the scheme, state government will bear the entire cost of the tour of senior citizens belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. In case of a couple, the expenses of the spouse belonging to BPL family will also be borne by the statet government. They will also be able to take along an assistant. In case of senior citizens of non-BPL families, state government would bear only 70% of the cost. Senior citizens will be selected for the pilgrimage on the basis of lottery system. Under the scheme, over 400 destinations can be visited. The maximum number of pilgrims will be only 250 every year. Selection of pilgrims will be made by a district committee headed by the deputy commissioner. The tour packages will include journey in sleeper class by chartered train and night accommodation on multi-sharing basis. Besides, travel insurance provision will be mandatory for the pilgrims.

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