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Ferry service between Cochin and Male planned

India is planning to start a regular passenger ferry service between Cochin and the Port of Male and an agreement to this effect is likely to be signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the island on June eighth.
The distance between the two ports situated on the Arabian Sea is around five hundred nautical miles and could be covered by ferry sailing at a speed of ten knots an hour in about 48 hours. The distance could be covered by Air in one hour twenty five minutes between Kerala capital Tiruvananthapuram and Male.
Passenger ferry services used to operate between Chennai and Singapore and Penang but the services were stopped two decades ago following the fire in the passenger vessel operated by the shipping corporation of India.
The ferry service between Tuticorin port and Colombo started with lot of fan fare a few years ago has been stopped because of poor patronage.
Briefing newspersons ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit to the island a top official of the external affairs ministry said apart from enhancing connectivity between the two countries, India is also looking at the possibility of improving inter island connectivity in Maldives . A group of islands constitute that country.
The Indian government is toying with the idea of supplying high speed boats to enable the students to move from one island to another.
The Prime Minister is also expected to inaugurate a coastal surveillance radar system to be installed in the islands. The system will help monitor white shipping and help the country to preserve its sovereignty in its exclusive economic zone.
Among the agreements to be signed during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the island include one on hydrography that will help map the under-Sea resources of the island nation. The previous government in the island sat over the project for several years but instead allowed China to build an Observatory.
The other agreements on the cards include a Customs Agreement and a White Shipping Agreement. Relations with India has improved considerably during the last few months that Pakistani ships which used dock regularly at island ports have not been calling here for quite some time.

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