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India and Sri Lanka are planning to initiate ferry service

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NEW DELHI : The Indian and Sri Lankan governments have announced plans to initiate a ferry service between the two nations before the end of this month. Indian High Commissioner Santhosh Jha, speaking at a forum titled ‘India: Reform, Perform, Transform” on March 5, said that India has pledged to subsidise it while Sri Lanka has agreed to offer concessions. This project aims to enhance connectivity and foster closer ties between India and Sri Lanka.

The Indian High Commissioner was the guest speaker at the Press Club event organised by the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI). Kumar Nadesan, Chairman of the SLPI Board of Directors, moderated the event. According to the senior diplomat, both governments have expressed their intention to expedite the implementation of the ferry service. However, a preexisting issue has been identified pertaining to the exorbitant charges that would be imposed, necessitating the provision of subsidies.

“We have made the decision to do so.” The High Commissioner said that a substantial sum of money, amounting to millions of rupees every day, will be paid to ensure the economic feasibility of the trips.

“Both countries have looked into the possibility of running the ferry, but so far they have not been successful. Every week, I look at how things are going to figure out the fastest way to get things done. Hopefully, the ferry service will start before the end of the month.

Expressions of Interest

We are also working on a more traditional and historically important option at the same time: a ferry between Talaimannar and Rameswaram. The Shipping Corporation of India has called for expressions of interest in this project,” he said.

Jha also said that the statement of interest covers more than just looking for a ferry service provider. It also includes wanting to improve port facilities at both ends and looking into choices for places further away.

In order for India’s ferry service to be profitable, it wants to go beyond a single point-to-point link and increase the number of times it runs with more than one provider. Adding multiple places to serve similar types of customers could be a common way to do this.

Moving to India’s transformation, the High Commissioner said that India has transformed in many ways, and digital transformation is at the heart of economic growth. “There is a comprehensive approach to building Bharat. Industries, Agriculture, and emerging technologies, coupled with the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, led to this tremendous transformation. It is very important to say that our main vision is to: “get everybody on the journey”. Accordingly, only 2 percent of the Indian population falls into the extreme poverty category.

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