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     Raipur, November 16, 2012: Chhattisgarh Government today signed an MoU with the Indian Railways for conducting pilgrimage of its citizen spending Rs 36 crore from the state exchequer every year.

     After a cabinet meeting at the new Secretariat Building at Naya Raipur, Chaired by Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh, cleared the project, the memorandum of understanding was signed, official sources said.

     The state Government has identified and approved 16 holy places of the country and any able persons of 60 or above age would be eligible for the scheme, they added.

     A person would be considered only once in his life time for this scheme, they said adding the Government has decided to spend Rs 18,000 per person for his or her pilgrimage.

     As many as 80 per cent of the beneficiaries would be from BPL family and 20 per cent from above the poverty line.

     The state would spend Rs 36 crore every year from the state exchequer for this scheme, the officials said adding it would be started from January 2013.

     Ujjain-Omkareswar, Puri-Bhubaneswar, Haridwar-Rishikesh, Mathura-Vrindaban, Prayag-Kashi, Shiridi-Sani Signapur-Trayambakeswar, Vaishno Devi-Jammu, Amritsar-Golden Temple, Tirupati-Madurai-Rameswaram, Ajmer Sharif-Fatehpur (Dargah of Chisti), Baba Baijnath Dham, Dhakineswar-Kali Mandir-Gangasagar, Dwarka-Somnath-Nageswar, Samved Sikhar, Shravanbelgola, Velangani Church (Kerala), Nagapattnam (Tamil Nadu) have been approved by the state for pilgrimage.

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