In a significant development, the Indian government is contemplating the proposal for the construction of a sea bridge that would link India’s Dhanushkodi to Talaimannar in Sri Lanka.
Dhanushkodi is believed to be the historical site where Lord Ram instructed Hanuman to build a bridge for transporting his army to Sri Lanka. Talaimannar is where Lord Rama arrived in Sri Lanka.
Times Of India report suggests that a forthcoming feasibility study is on the horizon for this ambitious 23-kilometre bridge initiative.
The decision follows discussions between India and Sri Lanka during Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to Delhi in July of the previous year. Both nations had agreed to explore the viability of establishing land access to the strategic ports of Trincomalee and Colombo.
Subsequently, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) convened a meeting involving various ministries and government agencies to delve into the matter. MEA officials have revealed plans to conduct a comprehensive feasibility study before formulating a detailed plan for the proposed sea bridge.
The meeting addressed a myriad of issues spanning diverse sectors, including dairy, oil, power, and shipping, all of which were topics of discussion during Wickremesinghe’s visit.
The construction of the expansive sea bridge would require substantial funding, and it could prove to be a boon for bilateral trade.
Discussions surrounding the need for this sea bridge have persisted for over a decade. In December 2015, Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari disclosed plans to construct a road-cum-rail bridge following discussions with President Wickremesinghe.
As the government weighs the potential benefits against the associated challenges, the proposed sea bridge project remains a focal point in bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka.