Colombo Dockyard to build two ships for Lakshadweep

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Colombo, Mar 6 (UNI) Colombo Dockyard has commenced work on a 36.6 million dollar contract to build and supply two passenger-cum-cargo ships to the union territory of Lakshadweep.

Colombo Dockyard has won the order through a global contract, will build each vessel capable of carrying 250 passengers and 100 metric tonnes of cargo, the Indian High Commission said in a statement here.

''Each vessel will cost 18.3 million dollars and the total amount of order is 36.6 million dollars. The first vessel is expected to be delivered in December 2009 and the second one in July 2010,'' the statement said.

A ceremonial block assembly or keel laying ceremony took place here yesterday, under the auspices of Lakshadweep administrator B V Selvaraj.

Mr Selvaraj also met officials from Sri Lanka's state-run Fisheries Corporation to explore possibilities of direct marketing Maldive fish.

''This event symbolised the growing economic partnership between India and Sri Lanka and epitomises the vast potential of cooperation that exists between the two countries,'' the statement added.

UNI XC AK RN1449

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