Cabinet approves KKS-Puducherry ferry service

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Cabinet approval has been granted for a ferry service between Kankesanturai (KKS) and Puducherry, a Union Territory in Tamil Nadu, India.

The approval for cargo and passenger services between KKS and Karaikal Port, in one of Puducherry’s districts, was obtained, according to Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda.

The Minister told Ceylon Today that the journey would take about 22 hours and that going to Karaikal would be the best option, because the sea around Nagapattinam is not very deep, so Puducherry was chosen.

Fisheries Minister Devanandasaid the MoU was signed on 13 June to resume flights between Jaffna International Airport and Tiruchirappalli Airport too.

He said transport services would be launched soon, so that fuel such as kerosene, diesel, and essential commodities including fertiliser, palm oil, and pharmaceuticals could be procured.

The Minister thanked President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva for their cooperation in this regard.

Karaikal Port, now acquired by Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ), became operational in April 2009. The port is located on the Eastern Coast of India in Karaikal around 300 km south of Chennai Port and around 360 km north of Tuticorin Port. In March 2021, Deputy Chairman of Committees, Parliament and Chairman of Jaffna District Development Committee MP Angajan Ramanathan tweeted that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was inked between Sagarmala Development Company Limited and INDSRI Ferry Services Pvt Ltd for Passenger Shipping Service from KKS Port to Karaikal Port and the sea connectivity between India and SriLanka will strengthen our bilateral relations.

Minister of Health and Family Welfare in the Government of India Dr.Mansukh Mandaviya also tweeted last year that he met officials regarding the proposal for the ferry service between KKS Port in Jaffna and Karaikal Port in Puducherry. The ferry service, when commenced, will ensure easy and cheap connectivity, thereby enhancing various economic activities, he tweeted.

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan