Dec 17, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers had given the nod for two ferry services to be set up with India between Colombo and Turicorin and Thalaimannar and Rameswaram, the government said.
A large number of Sri Lankans also travel to India on business and pilgrimages.
The government’s information office said a memorandum of understanding will be signed to give effect to the ferry services, which will also provided for additional service point by mutual agreement.
On December 02, India’s shipping minister G K Vasan said the Indian cabinet of ministers had approved the deal.
Indian reports said the first ferry would start between Turicorin and Colombo and the Tuticorin Port Trust has been directed to provide infrastructure for the service.
The two cities were 152 nautical miles apart and the journey may take 10 to 12 hours, but fares will be significantly cheaper than the air fare between the two countries, the report said.
India is already the largest source of tourists to Sri Lanka. By November 2010 Indian visitors topped 111,000 out of a total of 569,000 tourists to Sri Lanka, emerging ahead of UK with 95,000.