The Delhi government is set to resume its pilgrimage scheme, which it started for the elderly, with trains to Dwarkadhish and Rameshwaram. By Anushka Goel
The Delhi government’s pilgrimage scheme, which it had started for the elderly, had been paused in the first week of January, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the third wave which spread wide. Now, as the daily number of cases are on a steady decline, the government has decided to resume these trains.
Delhi government resumes pilgrimage scheme
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According to Hindustan Times, the first such train to run will go to Dwarkadhish in Gujarat. This train, carrying 1,000 passengers, will be flagged off from the Safdarjung Railway Station at 7:00 pm on February 14, 2022.
Ho0wever, this is not the only train that will ply for pilgrims. On February 18, a train to Rameshwaram will also be flagged off, Hindustan Times quoted Kamal Bansal, Chairman, Delhi government’s Tirth Yatra Vikas Samiti, as saying.
According to Bansal, the most number of applications had come from senior citizens wanting to visit Rameshwaram and Dwarkadhish – 15,000 for the former and 7,000 for the latter, reports the Economic Times.
What’s more, when the trains were halted due to the pandemic, a train scheduled to Basilica of Our Lady of Health in Tamil Nadu’s Vailankanni, scheduled to run on January 7, was cancelled. Trains to Katrarpur Sahib, Amritsar and Ayudhya were also cancelled as the third wave of the pandemic took over. Bansal added, “We are likely to announce trains for other pilgrimage places as the Railway is likely to inform us about the availability of trains.”
The trains that run under the pilgrimage scheme ferry the elderly (aged above 60), who have applied for these visits (fo 15 destinations), and the government pays for their travel, accommodation and more. These passengers are also allowed to bring an attendant with them, writes The Millenium Post.