A feasibility survey to resume ferry services between Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu after a gap of 27 years would be undertaken soon, officials said.
The proposal was accepted by India and the island nation during Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse’s recent visit to the country, they said.
The service would be between Rameswaram and Talaimannar in Sri Lanka and Tuticorin and Colombo.
The officials from the fisheries department and Tamil Nadu Maritime board said this was in line with the steps taken to export goods from Nagapattinam to Sri Lanka after a four year gap. The next proposal mooted was to resume the ferry service.
They said the Tamil Nadu Maritime board would undertake the study through a Chennai-based industrial and technical consultancy company.
The service would earn revenue for both the countries as middle-class and lower-class from Tamil Nadu would prefer to travel by ferry to Sri Lanka. Similarly, Sri Lankans also could come to India and visit temples and Buddhist monasteries, they said.
They said fish exporters, traders and trade organisations in south Tamil Nadu have requested for resumption of the service.
The officials pointed out that between 800 and 1000 passengers used to undertake the journey on a daily basis before it was stopped from Tuticorin in 1983 due to the war between the Sri Lankan Army and LTTE.