Barishta Nagarika Tirtha Yatra Yojana in Odisha

Apply for Barishta Nagarika Tirtha Yatra Yojana in Odisha @ [Eligibility, Application From]

It is customary among the Hindus to go on religious travels. Numerous holy places are dotted all over the country. But going on these pilgrimages is an expensive affair. Most people are unable to make these trips due to financial restrains. To assist the aged people financially and otherwise, the state government of Odisha has started the Baristha Nagarika Tirtha Yatra Yojana. Under the program, the state will organize religious journeys for selected senior citizens.

Baristha Nagarika Tirtha Yatra Yojana Odisha 

Facts about Barishta Nagarika Tirtha Yatra

1 Scheme Name Barishta Nagarika Tirtha Yojana
2 Launched By Odisha Chief Minister Mr. Naveen Patnaik
3 Launched Date 25th of July 2016
4 Place of Launch Ganjam District
5 Eligibility for senior citizen to Join this Yojana Must be above 60 Years Old and must be a domicile of Odisha
6 Concession for BPL Pilgrims Pilgrims above 60 years from BPL families will get 100% concession
7 Concession for NON-BPL pilgrims who aged over 70 75% Concession
8 Facilities Vegetarian Meals along with drinking water, Accommodations, special travel kit, Travel Insurance and so
9 Who handles the complete tour package IRCTC

Launch details of the scheme

The official announcement of the special travel scheme was done in July 25th, 2016. The launch of the program was announced by the Chief Minister of the state Naveen Patnaik. The implementation of the scheme will be done by the Tourism Department of Odisha. The overall journey will be operated by the IRCTC. The Tourism Minister of the state Mr. Nitin Jawale was present in the Ganjam District on the occasion of the official launch of the scheme.

Key features of the scheme

  1. Assisting in tour organization – The task of organizing a tour for a target group on such a massive scale is challenging. With the implementation of the scheme, the state will provide the necessary financial assistance in conducting sacred journey for the people of the state.
  2. Pilgrimage for senior citizens – As per the guidelines of the scheme, the state will launch the pattern for those who are old and have crossed a certain age bar. All interested candidates who are 60 years and above will be able to go on the trip.
  3. Three trips per year – As of now, it have been highlighted that the state government will organize three different trips for the aged individuals. Each trip will be destined for a separate state and pilgrimage.
  4. Starting points and the destinations – A train starting from the Berhampur station will make its way to South India to visit the holy sites of Rameswaram and Madurai. The second train will start its journey from Bhubaneswar and chart the route to Varanasi and Allahabad. The third train will head out for Haridwar and Rishikesh from the Sambalpur station.
  5. Duration and cost of the tour – The first tour will last for 9 days. The second one will span over a span of 6 days while the last trip is estimated to get over by the 8th day from the commencement of the journey. The cost that the applicants will have to pay is Rs. 18,000, Rs. 12,000 and Rs. 16,000 for the three trips respectively.
  6. IRCTC as the organization – Apart from the state authority, all tour planning will be done by IRCTC. It will take care of booking and paying the expenses of the religious tours.
  7. Total number of beneficiaries – It was mentioned that the state authority will choose a total of 1000 candidate to embark on each of the trips. Thus, the state will give an opportunity to around 3000 candidates on an annual basis.
  8. Waiting list – Apart from the list of 1000 applicants, the state authority, in charge of selecting the candidates will also prepare a list of waiting aspirants. If any of the selected candidates drop out, then applicants from waiting list will get a chance to cement their place.
  9. Concessions for the applicants – To make it easy for the applicants, the state authority has declared that the senior citizens will get financial compensation. There is a specific percentage for the people living below and above poverty level.
  10. Age and status related compensation – Applicants who have a BPL certificate and are of 60 to 75 years, will get a full expense paid trip to the pilgrimage. Candidates who do not possess the certificate, fall within the age group of 60 to 70 years and do not pay taxes will receive 50% reduction. Lastly, people who fall in the age group of 70 to 75 years will receive 75% compensation.
  11. Depositing the money in bank – In case any candidate has received partial compensation, the rest of the money must be paid in the bank in the form of a Demand Draft. The DD must be drawn in the name of Director of Tourism.
  12. Attendants for very old candidates – The people who fall in the age group of 70 to 75 years can be accompanied by someone who will be his or her attendant. The attendants will need to fill the form accordingly.
  13. Tour opportunity for couples – The scheme has been designed in a manner that will allow married candidates to travel with their husband or wife. In this case, the couple can make the application with a single form.
  14. Meals for the travelers – The IRCTC will have the responsibility of providing the passengers with vegetarian meals. Breakfast will be served between 8 am to 9 am. The travelers will get lunch between 12 noon to 2 pm. In the evening, biscuits and tea will be served between 4 pm to 5 pm. Dinner will be served early, between 7 pm to 9 pm. Apart from the food, water bottles will also provide for free.
  15. Other travel expenses – Apart from food, expenses of boarding, booking guides, tour vehicles will also be done by the IRCTC and the state will pay its share to take care of the overall expenses.
  16. Main travel by train – As all travel plans are charted by the Indian Railways and thus, the main means of travel will be via train. Three trains will start out for three separate pilgrimage destinations, taking the selected candidates via rail routes.
  17. Travel bag by IRCTC – Apart from all other benefits, the IRCTC has kept the provision of offering each traveler a special kit. The cost of this travel bag is Rs. 700 and will have tooth paste and brush, shampoo, soap, mirror, ID card and combs.
  18. Presence of a professional doctor on each train – It has been highlighted in the draft of the scheme that each train, carrying the senior citizens will he accompanied by a trained doctor to tackle any medical emergency.

Eligibility criteria of the scheme

  1. Residential criteria – It has been mentioned that the scheme has been developed and designed by the state government of Odisha. Thus, only the legal residents of the region will be able to opt for the benefits highlighted under the scheme.
  2. Age related criteria – It has been mentioned in the draft of the scheme that only the people who are not more than 75 years of age or less than 60 years of age will be able to apply for the scheme and get the financial assistance.
  3. Income related criteria – Another feature of the scheme is that it has been launched for assisting financially weak categories. Thus, senior citizens who fall in the BPL group or people who fall in APL group but do not fall under the tax structure will get the chance to avail the benefits.
  4. Fitness related criteria – The scheme requires the applicants to be physically fit to undergo the journey. If they have any major health issue then they will not be selected to get the benefits of the scheme.
  5. Cancellation procedure – If any selected candidate wishes to withdraw his or her name from the list, they need to notify the respective authority seven days before the actual date of the journey.

Important documents required

  1. Residential certificate – As the scheme has been passed and will be sponsored by the state government of Odisha, the interested candidates need to possess the legal documents, which will prove that the senior citizen is a resident of the state.
  2. Aadhar card – The presentation of a photocopy of the Aadhar card is a must. The code will assist the government in tracking the application status or the number of people who have registered under the scheme.
  3. Age certificate – It is mandatory for each candidate to meet the age specific criteria. Thus, each candidate will have to present the documents, which will prove that they belong to senior age group. Only then their application will be passed.
  4. BPL certificate – There are special benefits that the candidates falling in the BPL category will receive. For that, candidates are supposed to produce their BPL card to avail those benefits.
  5. Income certificate – It is necessary for BPL and APL candidates to present a valid income certificate. The pension holders will have to produce it as well. It will assist the government in validating their claims that these candidates are not tax payers.
  6. Health care certificates – The journey will be long and thus, it is mandatory that the senior applicants submit a health certificate that will highlight that they have the physical fitness level that is needed to embark on the pilgrimage.
  7. Emergency communication particulars – in case of any accident, the government will get in touch with the kin of the candidates. To make it possible, the candidates will have to submit ID documents and contact details of their family members.

How to get application form

Any interested candidate will get the option to acquire the application form from the office of the respective tourism department offices or from the office of the District Magistrate. If that seems too laborious then clicking on the official page of the Tourism Department will be enough. By clicking on the link one can get access to the form. It can be downloaded from the internet. The application form needs to be filled manually and then submitted in the respective office.

How to apply for the scheme

  1. The application form is available via online and offline methods. The authorized site of the Tourism Department of the state will give a candidate access to the PDF format of the application form.
  2. Once the person gets it downloaded and generates a print out, its field must be filled up with correct information manually. If the details are not correct then the application will not be forwarded for verification.
  3. Once all details have been entered carefully, all necessary papers or documents are to be attached for the ease of verification. The list will be provided in the website.
  4. The filled form must be submitted to the office of the Tourist Officer of the respective district. Once the verifications are over, the list of the selected candidates will be published accordingly.

Selection procedure

  1. Once the applications are submitted at the office of the District Tourist Officer, the necessary verifications will be done respective departments. A maximum of 1000 candidates will get the opportunity to embark on each journey.
  2. Once the date of submission is closed, all applications will be verified and they will be scanned accordingly. After the completion of the preliminary verification by the members of the special cell, the data will be sent to the RDC office.
  3. The data will be scrutinized by the respective District Collector and he will have to send the final recommendation to the office of the RDC again. Once the list arrives in the office, the final selection will be done.
  4. Tourism Department and the IRCTC will get the list of 1000 candidates and waiting list that contains names of 200 applicants. Then it is published accordingly. The state administration and the Tourism Department will work in close cooperation to implement the scheme.
  5. Tourism Department will allocate a code to all districts and the selected candidates will get their registration numbers that will contain that code. It will assist in verification and identification.
  6. Further planning will be done by the state government. Once the climate is favorable, the final date will be declared and the selected candidates will get the information.

Contact details

All details about this unique scheme are highlighted on the official website of the program. One can get the particulars by clicking on the link It is maintained by the Tourism Department of the state. One can also call on the Toll free numbers 0674-2432177, 2436596, 8260844859, 1800 208 1414 and acquire the required information.

The implementation of the program has given a chance to the senior citizens of Odisha a chance to embark on a holy journey to noted pilgrimage sites. Thanks to the compensation policies, even the financially weak families will be able to visit these places.

Latest update (17/4/2018)

The CM of the state had officially flagged off the ‘Baristha Nagarika Tirtha Yatra Scheme’ by flagging of the 6th Pilgrimage Train service. The new launch was officially made from Sambalpur Railway Station, when addressing Senior citizens via the Video Conferencing media. Under the new programme the government has arranged for pilgrimage trip for senior citizens to visit Trimbakeshwar, Shridi and Nasik.

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