India-Sri Lanka ferry services resume after three decades

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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Colombo, Jun 14: Don't be fooled by the camaraderie shown between the Indian Cricket Board and its Sri Lankan counterpart, as relations between the two nations, at least in the political sphere still remains frosty. However, things are slowly but surely appearing brighter.

India and Sri Lanka, have after a gap of nearly 30 years revived ferry services between the two nations. It can be recollected that the services between the two countries were abandoned after the Island nation got entrenched in a bloody civil war.

Early on Jun 14, Scotia Prince dropped anchor at the Colombo port, after starting its journey from the Indian port of Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu on Jun 13. The total number of people on board including passengers and crew members were more than 300.

According to an official, the duration of the journey would be somewhere between eight to 12 hours. The company has charted the ship, informing that Scotia Prince will have two round trips a week.

Meanwhile, another ship owned by the Sri Lanka government's Ceylon Shipping Corporation will begin operations soon.

Reporting about the resumption of ferry services, the Daily Mirror wrote, "The ferry service across the Palk Straits was first started by noted nationalist VO Chidambaranar or VOC way back in 1907 between Dhanuskodi and Talaimannar in Lanka. It was cancelled in 1964 when a super cyclone destroyed the Dhanuskodi port, after which it was shifted to Rameshwaram. It was operational till the early 80s when the civil conflict between the Tamil rebels and the government worsened."

Reports state that fares for the travel range from a bit over Rs 2000 per person in economy class to Rs 14000 plus for a first class cabin with three berths.

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