Passenger terminal to be augmented with additional facilities
The ferry service between Tuticorin and Colombo is expected to resume either by March end or in the first week of April, A. Subbiah, Chairman, V. O. Chidambaranar Port Trust, said here on Friday.
Efforts are being made by the port agency, vessel operators and other stakeholders to resume the ferry operations between the two countries. Most probably, it would resume before April 14, Mr. Subbiah expressed hope. The international ferry service between India and Sri Lanka commenced in June, 2011 after Union Minister of Shipping, G.K. Vasan, flagged off the service at the VOC Port. A nine-deck ‘Scotia Prince,' the passenger vessel chartered by Flemingo Liners twice a week between Tuticorin and Colombo and vice-versa, stopped its voyage abruptly during November, 2011 for some technical and operational reasons. The problems encountered by the operators had been addressed and they had also submitted a commitment letter to the port authorities, which indicates the early resumption of the ferry service.
As many as 12, 240 passengers boarded the vessel on journey until its last voyage on November 18, 2011, Mr. Subbiah said. A passenger terminal, which was established on the premises of the port, would also be augmented with additional infrastructural facilities. As for passenger reinforcement in the second phase, the entire terminal would have centralised air conditioner facility. Besides, a conveyor system for loading and offloading passengers' baggage, would be set up. A coloured sheet roof would be put up outside the terminal for the resting passengers. The second phase would be executed in June this year. Mr. Subbiah also indicated that patronage of passengers should be increased to utilise the improved passenger amenities.
Keywords: Tuticorin-Colombo ferry service