Dream of at least 10 senior citizens who furnished false affidavits to avail of free pilgrimage for the second time under Mukhyamantri Teerth Darshan Yojana was shattered when their fraud was detected a day before they could board the train.
The senior citizens intended to avail of the pilgrimage for Rameshwaram, though they had already availed of the facility under the scheme once.
Their shenanigans were detected by the district administration just ahead of the yatra. The train for the pilgrimage is scheduled to leave for Rameshwaram on March 29. The applications came through various local bodies.
According to officials, two of the senior citizens fearing action returned their railway tickets on Thursday.
As per the pilgrimage scheme, a person is entitled to avail the benefit only once. It's perhaps the first time when a fraud was detected in the scheme. Earlier, malpractices in Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojana were reported.
Revenue officials are now planning to digitise the details of beneficiaries. The beneficiaries from Jabalpur have availed pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi, Ajmer, Shirdi and Jagannath Puri.
Under the scheme, the state government arranges the tickets for the applicants through the Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) for which it has an agreement to take care of journey and other needs of the pilgrims.
Additional collector Akshay Singh said the 10 persons were detected for their submitting false affidavits on complaints.
However, he said, the administration's present focus was to ensure the pilgrimage train departs in time on Friday.
It would be looked into later if any action should be taken against those who filed the false affidavits.
He said since there was no extra staff available for the scheme all the work for the scheme was done manually.