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Ferry service between Karaikal and Jaffna awaiting clearance from MEA to set sail

As part of efforts to promote tourism, the Ministry for Shipping had mooted the proposal to start the ferry service between Karaikal and Jaffna, covering a distance of 56 nautical miles (103.7 km)

Published: 05th October 2021 07:15 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th October 2021 07:15 PM   |  A+A-

Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan

Puducherry LG Tamilisai Soundararajan said shipping services between Karaikal and Jaffna were available in the past and were discontinued for various reasons

Express News Service

PUDUCHERRY: The ferry service proposed between the ports of Karaikal in the Union territory of Puducherry and Jaffna in Sri Lanka is awaiting clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs to take off, Puducherry Lt Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan said here on Tuesday

Shortly after flagging off Samudra Naukayan, an ocean sailing expedition by NCC naval wing cadets from Puducherry to Karaikal, she said shipping services between Karaikal and Jaffna were available in the past and were discontinued for various reasons.

The territorial government was pursuing the proposal to revive the service and the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner and ministers had recently held discussions with the Puducherry administration in this regard. According to Puducherry Transport Minister Chandira Priyanga who interacted with the Sri Lankan ministers, Sri Lanka wanted the ferry service to one more port on the island nation's east coast.

As part of efforts to promote tourism, the Ministry for Shipping had mooted the proposal to start the ferry service between Karaikal and Jaffna, covering a distance of 56 nautical miles (103.7 kilometres), in February 2021. Union minister of state for shipping Mansukh Mandaviya held a meeting with the Puducherry administration at the Chief Secretariat in this regard.

He said many Tamils from Sri Lanka come to India for religious purpose. Besides, Sinhalese people also desire to visit Buddhist places in India. The ferry service will facilitate their visit for spiritual purposes. It will not only give a boost to tourism, but also improve bilateral cooperation between India and Sri Lanka, he said.

The project would be on private-public-partnership (PPP) basis, where the operator would operate the service, Karaikal Port will be the facilitator and the state and central government would extend support, he had said.

To take the proposal forward, a committee under the Chief Secretary along with Secretary, Port, and other officials had been constituted. The committee went into the nitty gritty and presented a report to the shipping ministry. Now, various clearances, immigration, customs and no objection certificates by agencies are being obtained.

It is a major tourism project that is expected to help in the development of Karaikal and bring business and economic development to Puducherry.

Earlier, after flagging off the ocean sailing expedition by NCC cadets at the Puducherry Port, she said it was part of an effort to infuse in the youth the spirit of courage and capability to tide over all challenges.

The expedition would be for 11 days between Puducherry and Karaikal, adding that the team had 60 cadets including 25 girls. The expedition would sail from Puducherry to Karaikal through Cuddalore, Parangipettai and Poompuhar. On each leg of journey, six cadets and one instructor will be sailing in non-motorized boats also called DK Whaler harnessing wing force. On the return leg, they would sail along the same route up to Kalapet and the expedition would culminate at Thengaithittu Harbour thus travelling a total distance of 302 km. The cadets underwent extensive training in rowing and sailing techniques before starting the journey. During the expedition, the team would undertake social service activities such as pollution awareness drives, coastal clean-ups, sapling plantation and adventure related activities including kayaking.

She said that the territorial government was ramping up facilities in hospitals to ensure that patients with complaints of dengue were taken care of without delay. The Lt Governor appealed to the people to maintain cleanliness at homes.



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