Sambalpur : Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday flagged off the third phase pilgrimage tour for senior citizens from Sambalpur railway station here on Tuesday.
Earlier more than 2000 senior citizens have been sent in pilgrimage to different holy towns in two phases the first one from Berhampur to Rameswaram, Madurai and the second one from Bhubaneswar to Benaras, Allahabad.
The programme named ‘Baristha Nagarika Tirtha Yojana’ was kicked off in July this year. The tour programme of spanning three months will enable senior citizens for once in a lifetime visit to holy towns and cities out of the state.
Senior citizens from BPL category will be provided free of cost food, lodging and travel while the ones belonging to APL will have to pay 50 per cent of the expenditure which is believed to be somewhere around Rs 18,000.
The government has engaged nodal officers, doctors to look after the touring citizens. Orissa Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the IRCTC for the pilgrimage tours.