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Friday, December 13, 2019
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 Call to expedite India ferry service

Nahil Wijesuriya   

Plans are underway to commence a ferry service from Thalaimannar to India’s Rameshwaram with BOI approval in the near future.

East West Pvt Ltd Chairman Nahil Wijesuriya has requested the BOI to renew the approval granted in 2002 to commence a ferry service which is an investment of Rs 400 million.

This will accelerate the economic activity desired by the Government between the two countries.

Wijesuriya said the company could commence work as soon as the MOU for passenger services between India and Sri Lanka is signed with India.

He said the passenger service with the Ship MV Ramanujan ceased with the cyclone that washed away the Indian Railway Pier at Dhanushkodi in 1994 which was 19 miles closer than Rameshwaram. At that time there was considerable traffic due to the estate labour using this service. Although things have changed since then the company is willing to take that calculated risk.

He urged the Government’s backing as there is a huge potential for trading between India and Sri Lanka.

He was confident of commencing the service in less than two months of obtaining the approvals in Sri Lanka and India.

The BOI had initiated action with Indian authorities too and this needs to be pursued.

The company has obtained the concurrence of the Navy to use their facilities in Thalaimannar.

The SAARC Transport Ministers Meeting endorsed this service last year.

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