Pilgrimage Scheme on Hold in Punjab Amidst Election Code Implementation

ByTV10 Punjab

Mar 25, 2024
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24 March
Sandeep Dhand Ludhiana

The much-appreciated ‘Chief Minister’s Pilgrimage’ scheme in Punjab has hit a roadblock due to the enforcement of the Election Code in the state. The transport department has suspended the pilgrimage initiative in compliance with the election regulations, leaving many devotees disheartened.

Initially launched with much fanfare by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, the scheme saw significant participation from residents across all constituencies of Punjab. Previously, 12 buses ferried pilgrims daily from each assembly constituency, facilitating their journeys to religious sites within and outside the state.

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However, the scheme encountered hurdles when the central government declined to provide trains for pilgrimage purposes, prompting organizers to resort to bus travel for pilgrims. Despite these challenges, the scheme continued to serve its purpose until the Election Code brought it to an abrupt halt.

A senior official from the transport department confirmed the suspension, citing adherence to the Election Code as the reason behind the temporary cessation. While the AAP government had earmarked a budget of 25 crores for the scheme in the upcoming financial year 2024-25, a larger allocation of 40 crores was made for the previous year, 2023-24.

Anticipating a resumption of the scheme post-election activities, the Punjab government aims to reinstate the pilgrimage initiative once the electoral process, including potential Panchayat and Municipal Council elections, concludes. Devotees await eagerly for the pilgrimage scheme to recommence, hoping to embark on spiritual journeys once again.