Restoring Historic Links: Ferry Service Between Tamil Nadu-Northern Sri Lanka To Commence On 10 October


After more than four decades, Tamil Nadu and northern Sri Lanka are set to be reconnected by a sea route with the launch of a passenger ferry service between Nagapattinam and Kankesanthurai on 10 October.

This significant development aims to strengthen people-to-people ties between these neighbouring regions.

Operated by the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), the ferry service will cover a distance of 60 nautical miles, connecting Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu with Kankesanthurai, located near Jaffna, the capital of northern Sri Lanka.

The journey is expected to take approximately three hours and will be serviced by a high-speed craft named Cheriyapani.

The SCI expressed that this service provides an excellent opportunity for the people of India and Sri Lanka to make cost-effective trips to Jaffna and Tamil Nadu, further cementing the historical bonds between the two nations.

As per the Deccan Herald report, the one-way fare for this ferry service is anticipated to be around Rs 7,500, and passengers will be allowed a generous baggage allowance of 40 kg.

This development follows the agreement reached between the two countries to resume passenger ferry services between Nagapattinam and Kankesanthurai, along with efforts to promptly restart ferry services between Rameswaram and Talaimannar.

These decisions were made during the visit of Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe in July of this year.

The passenger ferry service between Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu and Talaimannar in northern Sri Lanka was halted in 1982 due to the civil war in Sri Lanka. However, a ferry service between Thoothukudi and Colombo was briefly initiated during the UPA-II government but lasted only five months.

The revival of the passenger ferry service to northern Sri Lanka after decades will offer an alternative mode of transportation for those travelling from Tamil Nadu to Jaffna.

Jaffna and Chennai share close geographical, historical, and cultural ties, and the availability of both direct flights and ferry services will be beneficial for the Sri Lankan diaspora in India, as it eliminates the need to transit through Colombo, which can be time-consuming.

Nagapattinam to Kankesanthurai

Currently, Air India operates a direct flight service between Chennai and Jaffna. However, the ferry service is expected to boost tourism in the Jaffna peninsula.