India and Maldives confirm commencement of the ferry service between the two countries on Monday, 21 September.
Moreover, the Indian Embassy in Maldives attests the cargo ferry will embark on its maiden voyage to reach the island nation sometime on Monday.
Initiation of such long distance ferry service between the nations were first discussed when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an official visit to Maldives, meeting his local counterpart.
Furthermore, an MoU signing between the leaders bolstered efforts for the ferry service on July 2019.
As discussed, the ferry will operate from Cochin, India reaching to Kulhudhuffushi and then travelling to reach Male’.
The Cochin-Kulhudhuffushi-Male’ route will ensure delivery of cargo, and in prospective future; passengers as well.
Earlier, Ministry of Transport confirms usage of larger ferries for cargo haul as Kulhudhuffushi harbor does not hold docking capacity for cargo ferries.
The state shipping company will utilize tugboats and barges for load and unload of cargo from the ferries into the harbor.
Meanwhile, ministry further reveals the first ferry is cargo exclusive and will not carry passengers.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs observe this development as a new effort to strengthen trade ties between the nations.
Earlier, the two countries placed signatures for an air-bubble between India and Maldives.
Moreover, the air bubble is also the first of its kind in Southeast Asian region.
Under the Solih Administration, Maldives is seen forging stronger ties with India that wavered during the Yameen Administration.
Moreover, India remains a strong ally to Maldives – providing support in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic as well.
So far, the South Asian ally extended their assistance on multiple occasions; even through grants to support Maldives.
Bilateral ties between the two nations diminished following the GMR scandal.