India and Sri Lanka on Saturday resumed passenger ferry services after nearly 40 years, a move that is expected to boost tourism, trade, and people-to-people ties between the two neighboring countries.
The service was inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe in a virtual ceremony. Cheriyapani, the first ferry, carrying 50 passengers, departed from Nagapattinam port in Tamil Nadu, India, and arrived at Kankesanthurai port in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, after a journey of about three and a half hours.
The ferry service will operate three days a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The ferry has a capacity of 150 passengers and can carry up to 200 metric tons of cargo. The ferry ride is expected to last three hours.
Cheriyapani departed from Nagapattinam Mini Port (Image by Antony Fernando)
The resumption of ferry services between India and Sri Lanka is a significant development, as it will provide a more affordable and convenient way for people to travel between the two countries. It is also expected to boost tourism and trade between the two neighbors, and strengthen people-to-people ties.
The ferry service is expected to benefit both India and Sri Lanka in a number of ways:
Increased tourism: The ferry service will make it easier and more affordable for tourists to travel between the two countries, particularly between the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the northern Sri Lankan province of Jaffna. This is expected to boost tourism in both India and Sri Lanka, and create new economic opportunities for local communities.
Increased trade: The ferry service will also facilitate trade between the two countries, particularly in goods such as fruits, vegetables, fish, and seafood. This will benefit businesses on both sides of the Palk Strait, and help to create new jobs and promote economic growth.
Strengthened ties: The resumption of ferry services is also seen as a symbolic gesture that will strengthen ties between India and Sri Lanka. The two countries have a long history of cultural and economic exchanges, and the ferry service is expected to further deepen these ties.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, the ferry service is also expected to:
Reduce travel time and costs: The ferry service is a faster and more affordable way to travel between India and Sri Lanka than air travel. This will benefit both tourists and business travelers.
Provide a more scenic travel experience: The ferry journey across the Palk Strait offers stunning views of the Indian Ocean and the coastline of both India and Sri Lanka. This will make the ferry service a popular choice for tourists.
Promote cultural understanding: The ferry service will bring people from India and Sri Lanka closer together, and help to promote cultural understanding between the two countries.
The resumption of passenger ferry services between India and Sri Lanka is a welcome development. It is expected to benefit both countries in a number of ways, including increased tourism, trade, and people-to-people ties. The ferry service is also seen as a symbolic gesture that will strengthen the long-standing relationship between the two neighbors.
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