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Yogi Government Stops 'Shravan Yatra', Calls it a Financial Burden

Minister for religious affairs Laxmi Narain Chaudhary said that the scheme was scrapped in ‘public interest’, as it had become ‘financially unviable’. He added that there were no plans to revive the scheme.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:December 19, 2017, 11:40 AM IST
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Yogi Government Stops 'Shravan Yatra', Calls it a Financial Burden
Representative image. (Reuters)
Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath-led UP government has scrapped ‘Shravan Yatra’, a pilgrimage for the elderly, started by ex-CM Akhilesh Yadav.

Responding to a question, minister for religious affairs Laxmi Narain Chaudhary said that the scheme was scrapped in ‘public interest’, as it had become ‘financially unviable’. He added that there were no plans to revive the scheme.

Earlier, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) had postponed ‘Shravan Yatra’ for the month of October, November and December as they had not received funds from the Religious Affairs Department.

‘Shravan Yatra’ began during the previous Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government in the state. Under the scheme, free trains were to run for the elderly, taking them to pilgrimage centers.

The Shravan Yatra was on track for the current year as well and Rs 14 crore was even allocated to it. Despite this, the IRCTC wasn’t paid its due to Rs 1 crore per trip.

IRCTC officials say, tens of thousands of elderly have been taken to pilgrimage sites across India, with six trains running in 2016 and only two trains running in 2017.

In October, the pilgrims would have been taken to Dwarka and Somnath Darshan; in November, Madurai and Rameswaram and in December, Puri and Konark.

Under the Chief Minister Shravan Yatra in October, the elderly pilgrims were to be taken for Dwarka and Somnath Darshan. In November, Madurai and Rameswaram were to be visited in Puri and Konark in December.

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| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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