Sri Lanka will commence the operations of the passenger ferry service between Kankesanthurai and Pondicherry on the 29th of April, says the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Aviation.
A discussion on the proposed ferry service between Pondicherry in India and Kankesanthurai in Sri Lanka was held on Friday (March 24) under the patronage of Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva.
The meeting had also been joined by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, officials of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Aviation, Sri Lanka Navy and the owners of ferries and companies that have expressed interest to operate ferry services.
During the discussion with Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva, ferry owners have mentioned that they will be charging 50 US Dollars per passenger for a one-way trip, while allowing a passenger to carry baggage weighing 100kg. Only daytime operations will be in effect during the first stage.
A ferry is expected to carry 150 passengers at a time and will take around 4 hours to travel from Karaikal Port in Pondicherry to Kankesanthurai.
Ferry service owners emphasized that only daytime operations will be in effect during the first stage of operations.
According to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Aviation, a passenger terminal is currently being constructed at the Kankesanthurai Port to facilitate the ferry service.
Sri Lanka Ports Authority has provided a financial facility of Rs. 144 million for the total constructions that are carried out by the Sri Lanka Navy.
The terminal upon completion of its construction is expected to be handed over to the SLPA by the 02nd week of April.
The Minister has also stated that the expansion activities of the Port of Kankesanthurai will be expedited and the Sri Lankan government has already requested 16 million US Dollars from the Indian Exim Bank due to the credit grant facility granted by India for construction becoming insufficient at present.