The procurement process initiated in January had only attracted two proposals and the Ceylon Shipping Corporation and Cabinet Appointed Negotiating Committee had recommended that the previous procumbent process be cancelled and fresh bids be called for.
It was pointed out that not much interest had been generated towards the project initially due to inadequate publicity provided to it.
The Ferry Service which used to operate prior to the war came to a standstill with the breaking out of hostilities in the North. In 2011, the government decided to relaunch it but was soon stopped due to less traffic.
But the Foreign Affairs Ministry this year said it will also consider freight service in addition to passenger services, to make it more economically viable. The ferry service is an important project for both countries across the Palk Straits as an initiative which will not only increase connectivity between the two countries but also one that would be both culturally and economically significant.