A day after India provided a 10-year soft loan of 250 million US dollars to Maldives to help the latter to mitigate the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, both the countries on Monday launched a ferry service connecting Tuticorin and Cochin ports in India with Male.
The move, reportedly, will cut down the cost as well as time taken to ship goods between the two countries.
The launch of the ferry service was done during a virtual ceremony by India’s minister of state for shipping Mansukh Mandaviya and the Maldives’ minister of transport and civil aviation Aishath Nahula.
MCP Linz, the cargo vessel, operated by the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), will start from Tuticorin and reach Kulhudhuhfushi port in the north of the Maldives on September 26 before finally making its way to Male on September 28.
A Hindustan Times report quoted the Indian mission in Male as saying in a statement, “This vessel provides direct cargo connectivity between India and the Maldives on a predictable and affordable basis for the first time, and will lower costs and times for traders in both countries.”