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Ferry service resumption between Nagapattinam and KKS in Sri Lanka delayed indefinitely

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Colombo: The resumption of the passenger ferry service between Nagapattinam in India and the Kankesanthurai region near Jaffna in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka has been delayed again for an indefinite period, Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has said.

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The passenger ferry service between Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu and Kankesanthurai (KKS) suburb of Jaffna district, which was to resume on May 13, was delayed due to a "technical shortcoming", de Silva said on Wednesday.

The nature of the "technical shortcoming" was not revealed by the minister.

The service, launched in October last year after nearly 40 years, was halted a few days later owing to rough weather.

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Since then, the resumption of the service, which is a vital component of India-Sri Lanka maritime cooperation, has been delayed three times.

India has also extended a grant assistance of USD 63.65 million -- the entire project cost -- to Sri Lanka to rehabilitate the Kankesanthurai Port in the Northern Province.

Situated in the northern region of Sri Lanka, the Kankesanthurai Port or the KKS Port, with an area of approximately 16 acres, is located at a distance of 104 kilometres (56 nautical miles) from Karaikal Port in Pondicherry.

The direct passenger ship service connecting Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu to Kankesanthurai port near Jaffna covers a distance of 111 kilometres (60 nautical miles) in approximately three and a half hours.

The ferry service will be operated by a private operator, IndSri Ferry Services, selected by the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) in consultation with the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL).

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