A Memorandum of Agreement was signed between Devasthan department of the Government of Rajasthan and Indian Railways of Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) at Jaipur on Wednesday, 7 September, 2022. As per the MoU, 18,000 senior citizens will be provided free train services for various pilgrimage destinations across India, till March 2023.
According to the MoU, the first train will start in the last week of September, and will cover Ramsehwaram, Jagannathpuri, Dwarkaji, Vaishnodevi, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Kamakhya Devi, Gangasagar and Kolkatta.
“The MOU was signed by Commissioner Rajendra Bhatt on behalf of the Devasthan Department while Regional Manager Gaurav Goyal, Sub-Regional Manager Yogendra Goyal and Pradeep Maheshwari were present on behalf of IRCTC.” - O.P.Jain; Additional Commissioner of Devasthan Department.
Due to COVID-19, the pilgrimage was discontinued in the year 2019–2020. Now that the situation has improved senior citizens can now benefit from this. This is not the first time the journey has taken place; in the past, the Indian Railway has successfully provided these visits to the country's senior citizens.
A similar services will also be offered to a few destinations, which will be through air travel. These destinations will include Madhurai, Amritsar, Somnath, Vaishnodevi, Prayagraj , Varanasi, Mathura-Vrindawan, Sametshikhar, Pawapuri, Ujjain and Velankanni church (Tami Nadu). A tender notice to this effect will be issued in the near future.
As per OP Jain Addl Commissioner of Devasthan department, the MOU was signed by Devasthan Commissioner Rajendra Bhatt, while Regional Manager Gaurav Goyal, Sub-Regional Manager Yogendra Goyal and Pradeep Maheshwari were present on behalf of IRCTC.