With Maldives being connected to India through regular water transport networks, it will become a cheaper and more accessible destination to spend our holidays at.
If you love the sea and you are among the people who love the adventure of travel which includes water-sports and serenity of nature then this is good news for you! The much-awaited passenger-cum-cargo ferry service that our Prime Minister agreed to develop with the Maldives, which is one of the best holiday destinations near India, might soon be a reality and ready for public use.
As of now, the ways to reach Maldives is through Air or Cruise and would coast according to international rates. With Maldives being connected to India through regular water transport networks, it will become a cheaper and more accessible destination to spend our holidays at.
Earlier a passenger-cum-cargo ferry service between Kerala’s Kochi to Maldivian capital Male is what the heads of two countries agreed on during the visit of PM Narendra Modi to Maldives early this year. The move to start an approximately 700 km long voyage in the open sea via Kulhudhuffushi atoll was announced to strengthen the connectivity between the two neighboring countries.
In a bilateral move, an MoU was signed between the two countries for setting up a frequent passenger-cum-cargo service which will help is the development of tourism for both Kerala and Maldives.
The ferry service will be one of its kind and will cover a total distance of 700 km between Kochi and Male. The distance Kochi and Kulhudhuffushi atoll is 500 km in the open sea and would be fun along waves and from Kulhudhuffushi atoll to Male is approximately 200 km and falls under the Maldivian territory and will cover many islands. This distance of 200 km will also improve the internal connectivity in Maldivian islands.
The diplomatic heads of both the country already had directed their officials to rapidly work towards connecting the two main cities with a regular ferry service which includes both passenger and cargo transportation according to a report of news daily The Hindu.
Prime Minister Modi addressing the Maldivian President said that he is happy about the agreement to connect the two nations through regular ferry transport, the report suggested.
Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale quoted, ” it is the first event in which are going to connect the Indian mainland to the Maldives with a regular ferry service(water transport) which will carry passengers and cargo both from Kochi via Kulhudhuffushi to Male and back” the report suggested. Both the leaders aim at improving the connectivity and establishment of a workable infrastructure, he said.
In another report by The Hindu, the proposal for such a ferry service was coined in 2011 following the SAARC Summit which was followed by a meeting between the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) and officials of Kochi and Maldives ports. It also had a mention of structural planning of the service with a passenger capacity of approximately 300 people and cargo capacity of 15-20 containers along with 500 tonnes of bulk cargo. The transit time would be a day at max on a modern ferry and will be suitable for the transport of perishable cargo.
This initiative by both governments might turn out to be a fortune for tourists and Gallivanters from all over the globe and give a much-required boost to the tourism sector of both countries. The Maldives is well-known for its serene beaches, scenic sunsets and water-sports whereas Kerala for its diverse flora and fauna. This connectivity might make this location the most pocket-friendly one.