By Nabeela Hussain
The much awaited ferry service from Tuticorin to Colombo is to dock at the Colombo harbour next Tuesday (June 14) the Ceylon Shipping Corporation (CSC) yesterday said.
The Corporation said that the Indian vessel would leave Tuticorin next Monday (June 13) and would arrive in the country after a 10-12 hour voyage. The vessel is expected to carry VIP’s as well as a limited number of passengers and would be leaving the same week. However, the CSC said that the date of departure for the vessel has not being fixed.
The CSC also said that Sri Lanka was yet to acquire a ferry to provide the weekly service. “We are looking into ferries that need to be approved by our technical team,” said Executive Director, A. D. K. Chandradasa.
He said that the tickets from India to Sri Lanka would cost USD 59 and stated that both countries had agreed to tickets priced below 60 USD, though the price is yet to be decided in Sri Lanka. “The ferry service will be a weekly service and visas for the respective countries should be obtained in the normal manner,” he said.
The ferry service was established on a MOU between the two countries was previously halted due to security threats during the war. The respective governments have however been attempting to re-establish the service since last year but has been delayed due to various reasons.
The service which is mainly established for pilgrims would be sailing once a week and would take 10-12 hours to complete its 280 mile voyage depending on the weather conditions. Vessels have a passenger capacity of almost 1,000 passengers with each being allowed to carry luggage up to 100 Kgs in weight.
While reports suggest that a warehouse in Tuticorin has been converted to a passenger terminal, such services would also be provided by the Colombo Port in Sri Lanka. Authorities say that a new service between Talaimannar and Dhanuskody in Sri Lanka would be established depending on the success of the service