India, Sri Lanka to sign agreement on ferry service soon
New Delhi: India and Sri Lanka would soon sign an agreement to commence ferry service between Tamil Nadu and the island nation, a step towards promoting tourism between the two countries.
"The proposal would go to the Cabinet soon for approval and after that Memorandum of Understanding can be signed for the same," a shipping ministry official said.
The ferry service would be from Tuticorin in Tamil Naduto Colombo in Sri Lanka and Rameswaram to Thalaimannar, respectively.
"It (ferry service) would be for both cargo as well as passenger traffic...but mainly for tourism purpose," the official said, adding that the vessels would come from a private party, but refused to divulge the details.
"The proposal would go to the cabinet soon and the MoU can be expected by December this year," he further added.
The travelling time through the sea from Tuticorin to Colombo is approximately 10 hours and from Rameswaram to Thalaimannar is about three hours.
India currently has cargo operations from the Tuticorin Port to Sri Lanka.
The government is looking at investing about USD 20.8 billion in 276 projects to expand 13 major ports -- Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Kolkata (with Haldia), Chennai, Visakhapatanam, Cochin,Paradip, New Mangalore, Marmagao, Ennore, Tuticorin and Kandla in the country.
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