EoI for Maldives-Kochi Ferry service soon


The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) will soon invite an Expression of Interest (EoI) for the Kochi- Maldives ferry service. The weekly ferry service is proposed to start by February 2012. The decision was taken at a meeting comprising, the five-member delegation from Maldives, the officials of the Cochin Port Trust (CPT), and the SCI. The Maldivian delegation visited Kochi, pursuant to the decision by the Prime Minister of India and President of Maldives at the SAARC Summit held earlier this month at Male.
A team of officers from the Maldives Ports Limited (MPL), led by its deputy- CEO Hussain Naeem, held discussions with the CPT officials the in last couple of days to finalize the arrangements for the ferry service.
It will be extend to the Kulhudhuffushi Port, when its expansion work is complete. At the meeting, it was decided to structure the ferry service as a cargo-cum-passenger service.
It would have a passenger capacity of 300. It would carry 15 to 20 containers and about 500 tonnes of breakbulk cargo. The CPT will provide berth facility at the BTP Jetty and a cruise terminal facility is being constructed at a cost of `7 crore. The work on the cruise terminal is expected to be completed by March, 2012. The ferry service will increase the potential of cargo movement from Kochi to Male.
Currently, a large amount of cargo from Kerala and south Tamil Nadu is being moved to Male through intermediate ports like Singapore and Dubai. From From Tuticorin to Male, there is limited movement of cargo. The transit time between Kochi and Male in the new ferry is one day. It will be ideal for movement of perishable cargo. The discussions were led by CPT chairman Paul Antony. Deputy-chairman G Krishnakumar, deputy-conservator Paul N Joseph, chief engineer G P Rai, traffic manager C Unnikrishnan Nair, secretary Cyril C George, financial advisor K G Nath, and SCI senior vicepresident A Chopra were also present at the meeting.
MPL board member Ibrahim Zaki, harbour master Ahmed Rasheed, Civil Engineering department head Ahmed Hinan, and Kulhudhuffushi Port managing director Ahmed Atheef were among the Maldivian delegation.