*Overjoyed pilgrims chant “Humara Shravan Kumar — Arvind Kejriwal” as the CM flags off the first free tirth train to Ayodhya*

*Tremendous enthusiasm among the elders of Delhi going on pilgrimage to Ayodhya; pilgrims heartily bless CM Arvind Kejriwal for fulfilling their lifelong wishes*

*If someone gets a chance to undertake pilgrimage in old age, then their happiness knows no bounds, I loved meeting the pilgrims and seeing them be happy: CM Arvind Kejriwal*

*Delhi Government had organised a program at Safdarjung Railway Station to send off the pilgrims; the Central Government refused permission for the program, I want to tell the Central Government that this type of behavior is not right: CM Arvind Kejriwal*

NEW DELHI: 3rd December 2021-Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal flagged off the first train full of pilgrims to Ayodhya today under the Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojna. The premises of the Safdarjung Railway Station were engulfed with the chants of ‘Humara Shravan Kumar — Arvind Kejriwal’, thanks to the glee brought upon the travellers because of this scheme. One could see tremendous enthusiasm among the elders of Delhi going on pilgrimage to Ayodhya when the pilgrims heartily blessed CM Arvind Kejriwal for fulfilling their lifelong wishes. The CM said that if someone gets a chance to undertake a pilgrimage in old age, then their happiness knows no bounds; I loved meeting the pilgrims and seeing them be happy. The CM further stated that the Delhi Government had organised a program at the station to send off the pilgrims; the Central Government refused permission for the program; I want to tell the Central Government that this type of behavior is not right.

On the directions of Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal, the first batch of pilgrims from Delhi today left for Ayodhya Darshan under the ‘Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana’ of the Delhi Government. The train departed from Safdarjung Railway Station carrying a batch of over 1000 passengers from Delhi, and was flagged off by Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal himself. First, the pilgrims were brought to the railway station by buses, where a program was organized by the Delhi government to send off the pilgrims. There was great enthusiasm among the elders going for Ayodhya Darshan under this scheme of the Delhi Government, and they offered heartfelt blessings to Shri Arvind Kejriwal. During this event, the pilgrims raised slogans of 'Humara Shravan Kumar — Arvind Kejriwal'. Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot and MLA Atishi accompanied the CM at the event.

Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, “many of our senior citizens have gone to Ayodhya today to have darshan of Shri Ram Lalla. This is something wonderful and it is a matter of happiness for all of us. I came to meet all these people here. Everyone is very happy. If someone gets a chance to go on pilgrimage in old age, then their happiness knows no bounds. Everyone is going for Ayodhya Darshan today. From there they will bring blessings for Delhi and the people of Delhi. I loved meeting everyone and seeing everyone happy. Due to Corona, the process of sending people on pilgrimage under our scheme had stopped, now that Corona has reduced a bit we have restarted the pilgrimage. Under this the first train has left for Ayodhya today. Now the trains will go everywhere including other pilgrimage sites like Rameshwaram, Puri, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Ajmer Sharif. About one thousand pilgrims are going on this pilgrimage today.”

The CM tweeted and said, "Delhi Government had organized a program at the station to send off the pilgrims. The Central Government refused to allow the programme to proceed. Now even the media are not being allowed to talk to the pilgrims. I want to tell the Central Government that this type of behavior is not right. But anyway, may god bless you."

*CM Arvind Kejriwal spoke to the passengers, took stock of the arrangements*

Shri Arvind Kejriwal acting as Shravan Kumar not only paved the way for his Delhi elders to visit Ayodhya by including Ayodhya in the travel list of the scheme, but also came to Safdarjung Railway Station himself to send the passengers to Ayodhya. There, the CM spoke to the pilgrims sitting in every bogie and wished them well. He went to different bogies and talked to the elders for some time. It was worth seeing the enthusiasm among the pilgrims sitting in the train to find Shri Arvind Kejriwal among them. The elders blessed the Chief Minister and motivated him to continue working like this. Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal also took stock of all the arrangements made by the Delhi government for the pilgrims. Shri Arvind Kejriwal also directed the concerned officers going on pilgrimage with the elderly to take full care of the facilities.

*People of Delhi will go on pilgrimage to Kartarpur Sahib and Velankanni in January*

Under the scheme, the elders of Delhi will go on pilgrimage to Kartarpur Sahib and Velankanni in January. Now 15 pilgrimage sites can be visited under the Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana. More recently, on the instructions of Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal, Velankanni and Kartarpur Sahib pilgrimage sites have been included in it. Passengers going from Delhi to Velankanni pilgrimage site will be provided a seat in an AC three-tier train by the Delhi government. At the same time, a plan has been made to send Delhi pilgrims to Kartarpur Sahib by deluxe AC buses. The first batch of passengers via AC bus from Delhi to Kartarpur Sahib will leave on 05 January 2022 and the first train carrying passengers from Delhi to Velankanni will leave on 07 January 2022.

It is noteworthy that due to COVID-19, the scheme was put on hold. During this, 15,000 people had applied for pilgrimage, but due to the ban on travel, these people could not take advantage of the scheme. Now SMSs will be sent to such applicants on their registered mobile number. If they are willing to visit Ayodhya, they will have to modify their applications on the e-district portal to opt for the Delhi-Ayodhya-Delhi route. Also, they will be informed about the option of uploading the certificate of receipt of both the doses of vaccination. The Delhi Government will send a team of doctors and paramedical staff along with passengers in all AC trains and AC buses during the journey under this scheme.

*What is the Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana?*

‘Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojna’ was approved by the Delhi Cabinet on January 9, 2018. The scheme provides Government Assistance to the residents of Delhi, in specific the persons belonging to the economically weaker section of the society. The scheme helps the elderly go on pilgrimages once in a lifetime. The Delhi Government facilitates these tours through the IRCTC, offering AC Trains and AC hotel rooms to the devotees. The entire expense of leaving from home until returning - which includes travelling by air conditioned trains, proper AC hotel stays, meals, local travel and more - is borne by the Delhi Government. Since its formal launch, a total of 35080 beneficiaries have travelled under the scheme. An insurance cover of Rs 1 lac is also provided to look after the devotees.

*Who can apply?*

Any person who is a resident of Delhi and has completed the age of 60 years can apply under the scheme (MMTY) irrespective of their financial status. Also, one attendant above the age of 21 years can accompany the Senior Citizens. Anyone fulfilling the eligibility conditions can avail this scheme only once during one’s lifetime.

*Where to apply?*

Application to avail the benefits under the scheme can be submitted on the e-District portal of the Delhi Government. The beneficiary would be able to travel through AC 3 Tier and AC 2X2 coaches subject to the availability of the same. The travellers would also be provided with free AC Accommodation wherever available.

*Routes offered under the scheme*

1.Delhi-Amritsar-Wagha Border-Anandpur Sahib-Delhi

2.Delhi-Ajmer-Pushkar-Delhi

3.Delhi-Rameshwaram-Madurai-Delhi

4.Delhi-Jagannath Puri-Konark-Bhubaneswar-Delhi

5.Delhi-Vaishno Devi-Jammu-Delhi

6.Delhi-Tirupati Balaji-Delhi

7.Delhi-Mathura-Vrindavan-Agra-Fatehpur Sikri-Delhi

8. Delhi-Haridwar-Rishikesh-Neelkanth-Delhi

9. Delhi-Dwarikadhish-Somnath-Delhi

10.Delhi-Shirdi-Shani Shingnapur-Trimbakeshwar-Delhi

11.Delhi-Ujjain-Omkareshwar-Delhi

12.Delhi-Gaya-Varanasi-Delhi

13.New Delhi-Ayodhya-New Delhi

14.Delhi-Velankanni-Delhi

15.Delhi-Kartarpur Sahib-Delhi

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*Kejriwal Government to overhaul the Wazirabad Barrage; will upgrade old infrastructure with latest technology*

*New barrage will have the latest technology with a flood alarm system for quick response during the rainy season - Sateyndar Jain*

*This new barrage will also help to hold more water during the non-rainy season leading to more water percolation, which will further help to increase the groundwater levels of the city*

NEW DELHI, 03.12 21--Water Minister and Delhi Jal Board (DJB) Chairman Shri Satyendar Jain convened a meeting with senior officials of DJB and the Flood & Irrigation Department on Friday. The meeting focused on upgrading the existing old barrage infrastructure at Wazirabad. The Wazirabad barrage was built in 1959 across the Yamuna River, in north Delhi. A barrage is a type of diversion dam which consists of a number of large gates that can be opened or closed to control the amount of water passing through. This allows the structure to regulate and stabilize river water elevation upstream for use in irrigation and other systems. The Yamuna has a total of 6 barrages, one of which is Wazirabad barrage. The Delhi government has decided to upgrade this barrage in order to increase its strength and boost up the response time of the barrage gates. These new barrages will be constructed with the latest technology with flood alarm systems for quick response during the rainy season. This will be a revolutionary step to stop flooding in nearby areas which will lead to safeguarding the property and lives of people. This new barrage will also help to hold more water during the non-rainy season leading to more water percolation, which will further help to increase the groundwater levels of the city.


In the meeting, Shri Satyendar Jain said, “The upgradation process of these barrages is the need of the hour. Every year, lakhs of cusecs of water flows in the River. It is important to have the latest technology to regulate the barrage system." He further added that ‘’New barrage will help in improving ground water recharge and stabilize river water elevation to feed water treatment plants of Delhi Jal Board."

New barrage gates will be built using the latest technology with a flood alarm system for quick response during the rainy season. During monsoon season upto 4-5 lakh Million gallons of water flows all at once through these barrages. The reconstruction of these new barrage gates will be done to increase the strength of these gates so that they can withstand the high water pressure. This will help in regulating more water during the non-rainy season, it will also increase the time of percolation. This can be transformed into a highly productive region-wide groundwater recharge system at very little cost. The water-related problems can be tackled during the summer season.

Every year the supply of drinking water is interrupted due to excess ammonia in the water released by Haryana. The water held in these newly constructed barrages will be used to handle the situation by quickly washing out the contaminants.

With proper regulation, the government aims to reduce silt deposition in the Wazirabad pond so that the holding capacity of drinking water can also be increased simultaneously.

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*Kejriwal Government doing everything on its end to curb pollution levels, but joint efforts needed to have a stronger impact: Gopal Rai

*Delhi’s internal pollution under control due to numerous emergency measures taken: Gopal Rai

*Need Centre and other state government involvement to control the 69% of external pollution contributing to Delhi’s air: Gopal Rai

*Strongly believe that a joint action plan with the Centre, state governments and experts is needed to significantly reduce pollution throughout Delhi-NCR: Gopal Rai

NEW DELHI: 3rd December 2021-The Kejriwal Government is doing everything possible on its end to curb internal pollution levels, but joint efforts are needed to have a stronger impact on overall air quality in the region, informed Environment Minister Shri Gopal Rai. He said that Delhi’s internal pollution is largely under control due to numerous emergency measures taken by the Kejriwal Government, like ban on construction, ‘Red Light On, Gaadi Off’ Campaign, ban on trucks entering Delhi, PUC certificate checking, Anti-Open Burning Campaign, and more. However, there is an urgent need for the Centre’s and other state government’s involvement in order to control the remaining 69% of pollution, which is external, contributing to Delhi’s poor air quality. Shri Gopal Rai concluded by saying that a joint action plan with the Centre, state governments and experts is needed to significantly reduce pollution throughout Delhi-NCR.


Delhi Environment Minister Shri Gopal Rai has once again written a letter to the Union Minister for Environment urging them to take cognizance of the matter concerning Delhi’s alarming pollution levels due to external sources. Through this letter, Shri Gopal Rai has requested the Union Minister to immediately convene a joint meeting with the environment ministers and experts of the states of NCR and prepare the necessary joint action plan for the future so that the level of pollution can be reduced.

Addressing Delhi Government’s steps to bring down pollution in the city, Environment Minister Shri Gopal Rai said, “We have taken quite a few emergency measures to tackle pollution in Delhi. Currently, construction and demolition activities are completely banned. The second phase of ‘Red Light On, Gaadi Off’ Campaign is also on till 18th of December. All the trucks entering Delhi, barring essential services, have been stopped as well. PUC Certificate checking drives are taking place all over Delhi at every petrol pump. Sprinkling of water has also been boosted throughout the city. Moreover, the Anti-Open Burning Campaign is also being carried out with full force.”

Elaborating on the sources of pollution and his letter to the Union Environment Minister, he added, “However, as far as I am aware, the report released by CSE on the basis of data presented by IITM says that Delhi’s internal pollution accounts for 31 percent of the total pollution seen in the city, while 69 percent is sourced from outside the city, of the NCR region. Hence, despite all our efforts to curb internal pollution levels, the overall pollution is still evident. Keeping this in mind, I have once again written a letter to the Union Minister for Environment to take some time out to address this important topic. I have been consistently urging him to create a joint action plan with the environment departments and ministers of the various states.”

Shri Gopal Rai continued, “We are repeatedly coming up with initiatives and methods to reduce Delhi’s internal pollution which is just 31%. But when no efforts are being made to curb 69 percent of the external contribution, then it will clearly affect Delhi’s overall pollution levels. Hence, we want the current situation and efforts made by the state governments and the Centre to be analysed, discussed with experts, and a joint action plan to be formulated after consultation. This will help to further control the pollution levels as soon as possible.”

“This is my third reminder, for I assume the meeting we are demanding is not taking place as they might be busy. And while governments are taking measures at their own level, we believe that a joint meeting and a collective effort is needed to have a proper impact and to significantly reduce pollution throughout Delhi-NCR. Hence, I have once again requested for a meeting to be held with all concerned authorities as well as experts so that we can take appropriate action to win this fight against pollution.” he concluded.

In his letter, Environment Minister Shri Gopal Rai stated, “As you are aware that today there is a serious pollution situation in the National Capital Region - Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan. Many efforts are being made by the Delhi Government such as ban on construction works, ban on entry of trucks in Delhi, Anti Dust and Anti Open Burning Campaign, PUC checking, ‘Red Light On, Gaadi Off’ Campaign etc. Despite this, no positive improvement is visible. The report released by the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) on the basis of IITM data shows that 31% of Delhi's pollution levels are from internal sources, while 69% are from sources in the NCR states. Therefore, in view of such a serious situation of pollution, it is a humble request to you to immediately convene a joint meeting with the environment ministers and experts of the states of NCR and prepare the necessary joint action plan for the future so that the level of pollution can be reduced. I have been requesting you for a continuous joint meeting for over a month, please try to take some time out for this joint meeting from your busy schedule.”