Strengthening Bilateral Connectivity: India-Sri Lanka Ferry Service
In an effort to enhance bilateral connectivity and promote stronger ties between Sri Lanka and India, the India-Sri Lanka Joint Committee recently held a virtual meeting. 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 committee focused its discussions on the restoration of the ferry services between the two nations.
Rebuilding Historical Connections
The idea of ferry services between India and Sri Lanka is not new. Back in the early 1900s, the Indo-Ceylon Express or Boat Mail provided transportation between Chennai and Colombo via the Thoothukudi port. Unfortunately, due to the civil war between Sri Lankan forces and the Tamil rebels, these services were halted in 1982.
However, positive developments have taken place recently. Last month, the Kankesanturai Harbour reopened its doors for passenger ferry services after undergoing renovations by the Sri Lanka Navy. This service will travel from the Karaikal Port in Puducherry to the Kankesanthurai Port in the northern region of Sri Lanka. Additionally, ferry services between Talaimannar, a northwestern town in Sri Lanka, and Rameshwaram in India have also resumed. These services hold great potential to boost Sri Lanka’s tourism, especially considering that India is its biggest contributor in this sector.
Advantages of the Ferry Service
The restoration of the ferry service between India and Sri Lanka brings several benefits that will positively impact both travelers and the tourism industry:
- Convenience: Traveling by ferry will provide a more convenient mode of transportation.
- Affordability: The ferry service offers a more affordable alternative to air travel.
- Reduced Journey Time: With the ferry, the travel time from India to Sri Lanka (and vice versa) will be significantly reduced to just three to four hours.
- Luggage Capacity: Passengers will have the advantage of being able to carry more luggage compared to air travel.
With these advantages in place, the ferry services are expected to not only boost regional trade and tourism but also foster stronger people-to-people ties between the neighboring nations.
Remember, if you’re interested in exploring Sri Lanka and taking advantage of the new ferry services, check out DHPL Travels for more information about this exciting opportunity.