14 Oct 2023

Passenger Ferry Service Between India And Sri Lanka Begins: An Important Milestone, Says PM Modi

New Delhi: The ferry service between Nagappatinam in India and Kankesanthurai (KKS) near Jaffna in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka commenced on October 14, 2023.

The high-speed ferry operated by the Shipping Corporation of India has a capacity of 150 passengers. The distance of about 60 nautical miles (110 Km) between Nagapattinam and Kankesanthurai will be covered in approx. 3.5 hours depending on sea conditions. 

In order to commence the service, the Government of India supported the Tamil Nadu Maritime Board in upgrading facilities at the Nagapattinam port. Similarly, the Government of Sri Lanka has created necessary infrastructure at the port of KKS.

The Government of India’s efforts to start the ferry service are in line with the Government’s priority to enhance connectivity with neighbours and in the wider Indian Ocean Region. 


An efficient and cost-effective means of travel 

A direct passenger ferry between Sri Lanka and India will provide an efficient and cost-effective means of travel for the people of the two countries, boost tourism and trade links and strengthen people-to people ties. The ferry will also enhance economic activity around the two ports and invigorate local economies.

Air connectivity between Chennai and Jaffna was resumed in Dec 22

It may be recalled that direct air connectivity between Chennai and Jaffna, which was suspended during the Covid pandemic, was resumed in December 2022. Enhancing direct connectivity with the Northern Province of Sri Lanka complements Government of India’s other ongoing development initiatives in the region.

This special occasion was addressed by Prime Minister of India and President of Sri Lanka through a video message. The milestone event was flagged off jointly by Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation and External Affairs Minister of the Government of India earlier today. 

Vessel Cheriyapani traveled with 50 passengers on its inaugural journey to Sri Lanka and will return back to India by evening with passengers from Sri Lanka.

The Governments of India and Sri Lanka will continue to work towards commencement of ferry services between other ports, including the traditional route between Rameswaram- Talaimannar.

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the launch of ferry services between Nagapattinam, India and Kankesanthurai, Sri Lanka via video message today. 

A new chapter in diplomatic and economic relations: PM 

On this occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi remarked that India and Sri Lanka are embarking on a new chapter in diplomatic and economic relations and the launch of a ferry service between Nagapattinam and Kankesanthurai is an important milestone in strengthening the relations.

Underlining the shared history of culture, commerce and civilization between India and Sri Lanka, the Prime Minister pointed out that Nagapattinam and nearby towns have been known for sea trade with many countries including Sri Lanka and the historical port of Poompuhar find a mention as a hub in ancient Tamil literature. 

'Connectivity brings our hearts closer'

PM Modi said ferry service brings alive all historical and cultural connections. Connectivity is not only about bringing two cities closer. It also brings our countries closer, our people closer and our hearts closer. 

Partnership for progress and development is one of the strongest pillars of India - Sri Lanka bilateral relationship, PM Modi said adding projects implemented with Indian assistance in Sri Lanka have touched the lives of the people.

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