Chennai: Sri Lanka is very much keen on reviving the passenger ferry service between Rameswaram and Thalaimannar but the delay is on the part of the Indian government which is yet to take a firm stand on its resumption, John Amaratunga, Sri Lanka Tourism, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs Minister, has said.
“We are the closest neighbour to south India. From Sri Lanka one can see the lights and buildings of Rameswaram…so close by. And during the early stages they say people were able to walk from the southern Indian tip to the northern tip of Sri Lanka. Still there is a trace (of Ramsetu),” the Minister said on Wednesday. Speaking to reporters here on the sidelines of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau meeting, Mr. Amaratunga said there was boat service connecting Tamil Nadu with Lanka.
The Minister said he undertook a visit to the Talaimannar pier were the infrastructure was still present. “It is from the South Indian side
(Rameswaram) that efforts need to be taken up.” “This service was abandoned. And now, I am taking the initiative to resume the service. Our High Commission is taking efforts to revive the ferry service which will be least expensive for people to travel compared to air fares,” the Minister said and called upon the Tamil Nadu government to take necessary steps to restart the passenger ferry service between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.
There was a railwayline near the jetty close to the Talaimannar pier and it can take passengers from there to any part of Sri Lanka, he said and added “on the part of Sri Lankan government we are very anxious to resume the service. But the delay is from the part of the government of India. The South Indian state (Tamil Nadu) must take a stand on this," he said. "I hope before the end of the year we would resume the ferry service," he said
India accounted for 18.2 percent, which is 4,24,887 arrivals in 2018, an impeccable 10.5 percent hike from last year. Sri Lanka witnessed 7,40,600 foreign tourists in the first quarter of 2019. The island nation is hoping to see a drastic increase in the total Indian tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka aims to progressively promote the destination for weddings MICE and film shoots this year, with leisure being the primary focus....