Sri Lanka plans to reopen discussions with the Indian government on the renewal of the Colombo-Tuticorin (India) ferry service, Sri Lanka’s Ports, Shipping and Aviation Minister, Arjuna Ranatunge said.
Ranatunge believes that the shipping service could offer numerous benefits to passengers and traders of both countries, adding that the proposal will once again be discussed with the new Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha Jeyaram.
According to the Minister, Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena’s and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mediation will be sought in this regard. The new plan is to use the Kankesanthurai (KKS) harbour for the operation.
The passenger service was launched in June 2011 only to be shut down in November of the same year.
The Minister said that the previous Colombo -Tuticorin ferry service failed mainly because it was not marketed.
Market sources claim that the vessel to be used in the re-established service would be much smaller from the initially used Scotia Prince with the capacity of accommodating 1,200 persons.
The new ship would downsize to around 500 passengers and 50 crew member capacity.
Ranatunge also revealed plans for the Shipping Corporation to buy two ships with the aim of returning the institution to profitability.