Kochi: The proposed cargo-cum-passenger ferry service between Kochi and Male as announced by Prime Minister Manmohan singh at the SAARC summit on November 11 would commence operations in January or February 2012.
A team of officers from Maldives Ports Limited, led by MPL Deputy CEO Hussain Naeem held discussions with the Cochin Port Trust authorities yesterday and today decided to structure the ferry serivce as a cargo-cum-passenger service, a CPT release said here today.
According to the decision, besides carrying 300 passengers, the vessel, to be operated weekly, would also carry about 15 to 20 containers and about 500 tonners of break bulk cargo, it said, adding the EOI would be floated by SCI soon after receiving confirmation from the Maldivian side that they were ready for the ferry service.
Stating that the ferry would be berthed at the BTP Jetty in the Cochin Port and would use the Cruise Terminal facility that was being developed at a cost of Rs seven crore, it said the work on the cruise terminal was expected to be completed by March 2012.
The Maldivian team expressed a desire to get the ferry to touch Kulhuduffushi Port also. However, since the port expansion work was yet to be completed, it was decided to start the ferry as a Cochin-Male-Cochin service and incorporate an option to extend it to Kulhuduffushi Port when the work was completed.