Ferry services between Tamil Nadu’s Nagapattinam Kankesanthurai in Sri Lanka were launched on Saturday, October 14, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On October 12, the Nagapattinam Shipping Harbour announced that they are introducing a special fare of Rs 2,800 (Rs 2,375 and an 18% tax), as a promotional offer for passengers taking the ferry on October 14.
Speaking at the launch via video conference, the Prime Minister said, "India and Sri Lanka are embarking on a new chapter in diplomatic and economic relations. The ferry service brings alive all historical and cultural connections. Partnership for progress and development is one of the strongest pillars of India - Sri Lanka bilateral relationship.”
During the recent visit of Sri Lankan president Ranil Wickremesinghe, Modi informed that a vision document was jointly adopted for an economic partnership with the central theme of connectivity. "Connectivity is not only about bringing two cities closer. It also brings our countries closer, our people closer and our hearts closer", Modi said.
The Prime Minister underlined that connectivity enhances trade, tourism and people-to-people ties, while also creating new opportunities for the youth of both countries. "Projects implemented with Indian assistance in Sri Lanka have touched the lives of the people," he added.
Noting that digital payments have become a mass movement and a way of life in India due to UPI, the PM informed that both governments are working on fin-tech sector connectivity by linking UPI and Lanka Pay.
Modi expressed his gratitude and thanked the Sri Lankan president, the government and the people of Sri Lanka for the successful launch of the ferry service today. He also spoke about working towards resuming the ferry service between Rameswaram and Talaimannar. “India remains committed to working closely with Sri Lanka to further strengthen our bilateral ties for the mutual benefit of our people," the Prime Minister concluded.
The ferry service was originally supposed to resume operations on October 10 after a four decade break. However, reports said that it was postponed to October 12 due to administrative complications and then to October 14.