India-Sri Lanka ferry service to resume – after a 41-year break
This service offers an excellent opportunity for people of India and Sri Lanka to make a low-cost trip to Jaffna and Tamil Nadu, the Shipping Corp of India said
India and Sri Lanka are set to launch a ferry service between Nagapattina in Tamil Nadu and Kankesanthurai in the island’s north on Saturday – resuming a sea link that was broken 41 years ago.
India ran a passenger ferry service from Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu to Talaimannar in Sri Lanka until 1982 when it was suspended amid rising ethnic tensions in the island nation.
The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) said the new service will begin on Saturday (October 14). It was to start on October 10 but was put off first for October 12 and then for October 14.
“This service would offer an excellent opportunity for the people of India and Sri Lanka to make a low-cost trip to Jaffna and Tamil Nadu and further strengthen the historical ties between both the nations,” the SCI said.
A high-speed mechanised vessel, Cheriyapani, will link the two places. The ferry service, to be manned by a 14-member crew, is expected to cover the distance of 60 nautical miles in three hours.
Each ticket will be priced at Rs 7,670. The vessel can carry 150 passengers. A passenger can carry up to 40 kg of baggage, media reports said.
But the Nagapattinam Shipping Harbour Department announced on Thursday a special promotional fare of Rs 2,800 on October 14 – a 75 percent cut from the regular price.
Some 30 passengers have already made bookings for the inaugural day.
Both countries said the resumption of ferry services would boost regional trade and tourism and promote stronger people-to-people ties.