The ferry service between India and Sri Lanka is scheduled to start at the end of April

Sri Lanka will start operating the passenger ferry between Kankesanthurai and Pondicherry on April 29, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Aviation says.

A discussion on the proposed ferry service between Pondicherry in India and Kankesanthurai in Sri Lanka was held on Friday (24 March) under the auspices of Minister for Ports, Shipping and Aviation, Nimal Siripala de Silva.

The meeting was also attended by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, officials from the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Aviation, the Sri Lanka Navy and ferry owners and companies that have expressed an interest in operating ferry services.

Speaking to Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva, ferry owners mentioned that they will charge US$50 per passenger for a one-way trip, while one passenger is allowed 100kg of luggage. In the first phase, only daytime operation takes place.

A ferry is expected to carry 150 passengers at a time and takes about 4 hours to get to Kankesanthurai from Karaikal Port in Pondicherry.

The owners of the ferry service emphasized that in the first phase of operation only daytime operations will be in effect.

According to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Aviation, a passenger terminal is under construction at the port of Kankesanthurai to facilitate ferry service.

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority has a finance facility of Rs. 144 million for the entire constructions to be carried out by the Sri Lanka Navy.

The terminal is expected to be handed over to the SLPA by the 2nd week of April after the completion of its construction work.

The Minister has also stated that the expansion activities of Kankesanthurai Port are being accelerated and the Sri Lankan Government has already requested US$16 million from India’s Exim Bank as the loan commitment provided by India for the construction is currently insufficient.

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