India is prepared to resume ferry services between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, Indian High Commissioner Ashok K Kantha said on Wednesday.
The two ferry services are expected to connect Talaimannar in northern Sri Lanka and Rameshwaran and Colombo and Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu.
"The Government of India also favoured an early resumption of the ferry service between Talaimannar and Rameshwaram as also between Colombo and Tuticorin," a statement from the High Commission of India quoted Kantha as saying.
Kantha was speaking after inaugurating a visa office in the northern town of Jaffna.
In July 2009, India and Sri Lanka had decided to resume the ferry service between Cochin and Colombo after a gap of 25 years.
That decision was taken at the SAARC transport ministers’ conference here which was attended by an Indian delegation led by Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, RPN Singh. Speaking on this occasion on Wednesday, Kantha reiterated the commitment of the Government of India to promote closer ties between the people of India and Sri Lanka and conveyed that India was looking forward to opening a Consulate in Jaffnain the near future.
He said the Jaffna visa centre would benefit the people of Jaffna and neighbouring areas as they would not have to travel all the way to Colombo to submit their India visa applications.
This initiative on the part of the High Commission of India will facilitate the visa applicants to submit their visa applications in Jaffna and to take delivery of the passports from the India Visa Application Centre, Jaffna.
The High Commissioner hoped that the opening of the India Visa Application Centre, in Jaffna would encourage many more people to obtain visas to India from this region and travel more frequently to India. This would promote the traditional close ties between the people of Jaffna and India.