India and the Maldives have decided to launch a passenger-cum-cargo ferry service between Kerala’s Kochi and Male, the capital of Maldives, via Kulhudhuffushi atoll in a bid to strengthen connectivity between the two countries and boost tourism.
On his recent state-visit visit to Maldives, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih have asked officials to expeditiously work towards starting the regular passenger-cum-cargo ferry service between the two countries. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the two sides for the establishment of passenger and cargo services by sea.
The distance between Kochi and Male is about 700 kms, and between Kochi and Kulhudhuffushi atoll is 500 kms. Addressing the Maldivian Parliament, PM Modi said, “I am particularly happy that we have agreed upon a ferry service between the two countries.”
The transit time between Kochi and Maldives on the ferry service, which has a passenger capacity of 300, is a day. Welcoming the new service, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, “the passenger-cum-cargo services directly connecting the Indian mainland with the Maldives from Kochi via Kulhudhuffushi to Male will give a boost to Kerala’s tourism sector.”