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Title: Economic and Socio-Political Perspectives on Indo-Lanka Transport Connectivity through Ferry Service
Authors: Gunaruwan, T. Lalithasiri
Dineka, S.K. Imashi
Keywords: Indo-Lanka
Transport Connectivity
Ferry Service
Comparative Economics
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: The strategic advantage of Sri Lanka’s geographic positioning has long been recognised as an important factor which could be exploited to pursue the country’s economic and socio-political development. Close proximity to East-West main maritime route, nearness to Indian sub-continent, and also the current international initiatives towards establishing Trans-Asian Railway (TAR) and Asian Highway (AH) networks have made this importance much more prominent. Improving Indo-Lanka connectivity is perceived as one of the main axes of pursuance of this strategy. Since the dawn of peace in Sri Lanka, there is growing interest on the reestablishment of Indo-Lanka ferry operations discontinued twenty five years ago. The objective is to provide a potentially competitive alternative to aviation which currently quasi monopolises passenger transport market between the two countries. As the reconstruction of required infrastructure at Talaimannar and Rameshwaram needs time, the two countries have taken steps to introduce a ferry service between the Colombo Port of Sri Lanka and Cochin and Tuticorin Ports in India. This paper appraises comparative economics involved in long-distance ferry transportation of passengers between India and Sri Lanka, including the decision criteria for its viability. The paper also discusses possible substitution implications on air transportation on this corridor, and also the potential in generating new transportation demand along this axis. The accessibility and affordability advantages that could accrue to passengers are also examined. The strategic implications of this initiative also are discussed in relation to future development of passenger traffic between the two countries, on exploitation of over-sea economic opportunities and its direction, on social and geo-political interests of the two countries, as well as on the competitiveness of the proposed land bridge between Talaimannar and Rameshwaram. The paper also provides an insight on policies and strategies which would enable Sri Lanka to exploit this opportunity for her advantage in the medium to long run
Appears in Collections:Department of Economics

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