India to start cargo ferry service with Maldives, connecting Kochi and Male
The service will fulfil a promise made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his 2019 visit
India is likely to launch a cargo ferry service connecting Kochi in Kerala and Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu with Maldivian capital Male by the third week of September, says a report published by Hindustan Times.
The report further states that in a tweet on Thursday, the Indian High Commission to the Maldives said that initially, a vessel operated under the Shipping Corporation of India which is capacitated to carry 200 TEUs or containers and 3000 tonnes of general cargo will be used for the service.
The tweet, according to the report said, “Sea-connectivity for prosperity! A direct ‘Cargo Ferry Service’ connecting #Kochi/#Tuticorin with #Malé will be flagged off [from India] in the 3rd week of Sep.” The service has been described as a step towards fulfilling the promise made by Narendra Modi during his 2019 visit to Maldives.
According to the Indian officials, the initiative is expected to revolutionize the bilateral trade between the two countries.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had discussed the launch of the service during a virtual meeting with his Maldivian counterpart Abdulla Shahid on August 13.
Hindustan Times recalled that in the same meeting, India committed an aid package of $500 million to build connectivity between Maldivian capital Male and three islands. Besides, India has also extended $250 million financial support to help the island country in its fight against the COVID19 pandemic.