India and Sri Lanka will soon sign an agreement to commence a ferry service between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka which is a step towards promoting tourism between the two countries.
A Shipping Ministry Official in New Delhi said the proposal will go to the Cabinet soon for approval. He said that thereafter the Memorandum of Understanding can be signed. The ferry service would be from Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu to Colombo in Sri Lanka and Rameswaram to Thalaimannar. The official pointed out that the ferry service would be for both cargo as well as passenger traffic, but is mainly for tourism purposes. He revealed that the vessels would come from a private party, but refused to divulge the details. He said the proposal would go to the cabinet soon and the MoU can be expected by December this year.
The travelling time through the sea from Tuticorin to Colombo is approximately 10 hours while from Rameswaram to Thalaimannar it is about three hours.
India currently has cargo operations from the Tuticorin Port to Sri Lanka.