Published on : Thursday, July 8, 2021
The planned Karaikal-Jaffna Ferry Service, a component of the Sagarmala Programme of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways for the promotion of coastal shipping, has been given an impetus by both the Indian and Sri Lankan governments.
Last week, Doraisamy Venkateshwaran, Deputy High Commissioner, Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission, Chennai, visited the MARG Port in Karaikal to find out the facilities for the ferry service, covering a distance of 56 nautical miles. He held discussions with the Karaikal Collector Arjun Sharma.
Rajeshwar Reddy, vice-president of port operations, MARG Karaikal Port, said that the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner inspected the facilities for starting the service. The service will be implemented on a private-public partnership mode, with the MARG Karaikal Port acting as a launch pad.
Last year, the Union Minister for Shipping discussed with the Puducherry government for starting the ferry service between Karaikal port and Kankesanthurai (KKS) port in Jaffna, for reduced travel time, easy and cheap travel alternative, improved economic activities between the two countries and smooth connectivity for the pilgrims of both countries.
The ferry service will, for sure, strengthen cultural, religious and economic links, said A. Muthaiya, president of the Karaikal Chamber of Commerce. “We only hope the service is started at the earliest,” he added.
“Religious tourism will receive a thrust since many from the island nation will visit the famous temples in the Nagapattinam-Karaikal belt,” said V.R. Dhanaseelane, president of the Karaikal District Citizens’ Welfare Association.