Ferry service to Puducherry, 3 towns from Chennai soon | Chennai News – Times of India


CHENNAI: People travelling to coastal towns in Tamil Nadu can soon board a ship from Chennai as the Chennai Port Trust is planning to introduce ferry services to Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Puducherry and Karaikal.
The trust has invited Expression of Interest (EOI) for operating roll-on-roll-off passenger ship (Ro-Pax) service to the four towns with long term plan to ferry passenger vessels, including cruise services, to different parts of the country and neighbouring Sri Lanka.
The announcement comes after an online meeting between Chennai Port Trust authorities and stakeholders for operating vessels. The EOI aims to prepare the way forward for prospective operators to launch the facility from Chennai port as ‘home port’.
Private operators who are desirous of offering the service must own or lease ferries/ vessels and must mobilise own funds for the project.
City port will not invest, will offer its infra for project
Chennai port will not invest or contribute any fund for the project except offering its existing infrastructure and facilities, the EoI said.
Through the scheme, the Chennai Port Trust is planning to make use if its dedicated ‘cruise facilitation centre’ that handles cruise and passenger vessels. Before the onset of Covid-19, the port handled an average of five international cruises and 27 passenger vessels to Port Blair in a year.
Chennai Port Trust chairman P Raveendran said the ferry service will also include cruise ships and Sri Lanka was a possible international destination for services from Chennai. “Dredging is going on in Puducherry and Cuddalore ports, which would help ferry service operation. We already have a port in Karaikal,” he said.
A video-conference meet with operators interested in the project has been planned on Monday.

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