Ferry services between India & Sri Lanka to be resumed
In addition, ferry services between Sri Lanka’s northwestern town of Talaimannar and India’s Rameshwaram also resumed.
Established under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on passenger transportation by sea in 2011, the India-Sri Lanka Joint Committee representing the two governments works to strengthen bilateral connectivity between the neighbouring nations.
A virtual meeting was recently held between members of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Committee, the Indian High Commission in Colombo has said. The two sides were led by Rajesh Kumar Sinha, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways of the Government of India, and KDS Ruwanchandra, Secretary, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Aviation of the Government of Sri Lanka.
The discussions focused on restoring ferry services between India and Sri Lanka. The services will connect mutually agreed points and both members of the committee are of the opinion that the ferry services would boost regional trade and tourism and promote stronger people-to-people ties.
The Indo-Ceylon Express or Boat Mail, which ran between Chennai and Colombo through the Thoothukudi port between India and Sri Lanka in the early 1900s, was stopped in 1982 following the civil war between Sri Lankan forces and the Tamil rebels.
Last month, the Kankesanturai Harbour was declared open to passenger ferry service after the Sri Lanka Navy renovated it. The ferry service is to travel from Karaikal Port in Puducherry and Kankesanthurai Port in northern Sri Lanka.
In addition, ferry services between Sri Lanka’s northwestern town of Talaimannar and India’s Rameshwaram also resumed. The services are expected to boost Sri Lanka’s tourism to which India is the biggest contributor.
Benefits of ferry service between India and Sri Lanka
It will be a more convenient mode of transport
It will be a more affordable mode of transport than air travel
The journey time will be reduced significantly to three to four hours
Passengers will be able to carry more luggage with them than air travel