The Delhi Cabinet on Friday took an in-principle decision to offer free pilgrimage to Nankana Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan’s Kartarpur under its flagship ‘Mukhyamantri Tirath Yatra Yojana’ for senior citizens. The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The government will bear all expenses of pilgrimage to Kartarpur, Kejriwal said at a press conference.
Under its fully-funded scheme launched in July, the AAP government is currently sending senior citizens on pilgrimage to 12 destinations. According to the chef minister, the existing Delhi-Amritsar-Wagah Border-Anandpur Sahib route will be expanded to Pakistan’s Kartarpur.
“The Delhi Cabinet today took in-principal decision to offer free pilgrimage to Kartarpur corridor (Nankana Sahib Gurdwara). The Delhi government will bear all expenses of pilgrimage to Kartarpur,” he said.
Meanwhile, sources said Pakistan has conveyed to India that it will charge the USD 20 facilitation fee from each pilgrim using the Kartarpur Corridor to visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib on Saturday. At the press conference, Kejriwal said as all the aspects pertaining to pilgrimage are yet to be finalised between India and Pakistan, the Delhi Cabinet has taken in-principal decision to free pilgrimage to Pakistan’s Kartarpur.
“The revenue department has been directed to work out details so that registration for the pilgrimage to Kartarpur is open at the earliest…once all aspects are finalised between both countries, we will then prepare package,” the chief minister also said.
Under the ‘Mukhyamantri Tirath Yatra Yojana, the Delhi government bears all the expenses on the pilgrimage, including the travel, food and accommodation charges. Facilities like paramedical staff and attendants are also provided during the journey.
Senior citizens, who wish to be a part of the free pilgrimage, are issued certificates by the MLAs of their respective areas. The ministers of the Delhi government and the chairman of the ‘Tirth Yatra Vikas Samiti’ can also issue certificates to the applicants.
Among the 12 destinations where the Delhi government offers free pilgrimage include Delhi-Rameswaram-Madurai, Delhi-Tirupati, Delhi-Dwarkadhish-Nageshwar, Delhi-Puri-Konark-Bhubaneswar, Delhi-Shirdi-Shani Shinglapur, Delhi-Ujjain-Onkareshwar-and Delhi-Bodh Gaya-Sarnath. The scheme also includes destinations such as Ajmer-Pushkar tour, Delhi-Mathura-Vrindavan-Agra-Fatehpur Sikri, Delhi-Haridwar-Rishikesh-Neelkanth, Delhi-Amritsar-Wagah Border-Anandpur Sahib and Delhi-Vaishno Devi-Jammu.