Asia

Resumption of ferry service between Nagapattinam and Kankesanthurai on May 13


Colombo, May 5: The passenger ferry service between Nagapattinam in India and Kankesanthurai (KKS) near Jaffna in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, which was launched in October 2023 by the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), will resume on May 13, 2024 tentatively.

The ferry service will be operated by a private operator, IndSri Ferry Services, selected by SCI in consultation with the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL).

In order to make the service affordable and attractive for passengers, the Government of India has decided to bear the cost towards applicable taxes and other relevant charges and operating cost at Nagapattinam port to the tune of over LKR 25 million per month for a period of 1 year. Similarly, GOSL has reduced the deviation tax currently charged to passengers leaving Sri Lanka by passenger vessels and ships. It would be recalled that the Government of India has also extended a grant assistance of USD 63.65 million to GOSL for rehabilitation of the KKS Harbour, which was earlier envisaged to be undertaken under a Line of Credit.  This is in keeping with India’s strong commitment to Sri Lanka’s economic recovery, and its march towards progress and prosperity, along with and in close collaboration with India.

Strengthening maritime connectivity between India and Sri Lanka was a vital component of the vision document for economic partnership jointly adopted during the visit of the President of Sri Lanka to India in July 2023. The resumption of the ferry service is an affirmation of the people-centric policies of the Government of India. In his remarks during the launch of the service in October 2023, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had highlighted that connectivity is not only about bringing two cities closer but bringing countries and its people closer. He mentioned that the people of Sri Lanka will benefit from the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor launched during the G20 summit in India in September 2023, as multimodal connectivity between our two countries is strengthened.

In the future, connectivity with Sri Lanka will be further enhanced through electricity grid interconnection, two-way multipurpose pipeline and setting up a land connectivity economic corridor.

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