Feasibility study to be carried out on Indo-Lanka bridge
The Morning: India is to soon carry out a feasibility study for the 23km bridge connecting India and Sri Lanka as the proposed bridge will be a boon for bilateral trade between the two countries, The Times of India reported.
Quoting sources, The Times of India reported that the External Affairs Ministry (MEA) of India had held a meeting with other ministries and Government agencies on the proposed bridge between India and Sri Lanka where the MEA officials had informed the meeting about its plan to carry out the feasibility study for the bridge before preparing a detailed plan.
India and Sri Lanka had agreed to examine the viability of developing land access to the ports of Trincomalee and Colombo during Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to Delhi last July. The need for this sea bridge has been part of discussions for more than a decade.
“A host of issues pertaining to other sectors including dairy, oil, power and shipping which came up during President Wickremesinghe’s visit were also discussed at the meeting. The long sea bridge would require huge funds, but it would prove to be a boon for bilateral trade. But for that, the Government has to evaluate technical, economic, and environmental aspects to see whether it’s viable,” a source has told The Times of India.
It is expected that the bridge will connect India’s Dhanushkodi to Talaimannar in Sri Lanka and is to provide access to the ports of Trincomalee and Colombo.
During his visit to India last July, President Wickremesinghe also announced another feasibility study for a gas pipeline where the construction of a multi-product petroleum pipeline from the Southern part of India to Sri Lanka will ensure an affordable and reliable supply of energy resources to Sri Lanka while working on connecting the electricity grids of the two nations by 2030 with 550 MW cable in the first stage.
India and Sri Lanka enjoy strong bilateral and trade ties that span centuries. The ties between the two countries have been further strengthened by an operational free trade agreement (FTA) that is to be further expanded through the proposed ETCA on economy and technology. Both Sri Lanka and India are focused on further developing connectivity between the two countries in several sectors including power and energy as well as a sea link through a ferry service. It is in such a backdrop that Sri Lanka and India are now looking at a land bridge between the two countries. These connectivity plans would see a further boost in Sri Lanka’s relations with India while increasing the country’s valuable geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean. With Sri Lanka’s ongoing economic activities and the target of becoming an emerging business destination in the South Asian region supported by the strong trade ties enjoyed with other countries, the growth and business potential of Sri Lanka will undoubtedly attract many foreign businesses/investors to the South Asian Island. Also, foreign businesses/investors interested in doing business with India could look at setting up base in Sri Lanka to engage with India. Also, given the successful growth and profits recorded by Indian businesses working in Sri Lanka, Indian businesses/investors could confidently explore the expanding opportunities in Sri Lanka.
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