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EAM joins Guyanese President in commissioning of India-designed & built MV MA Lisha ferry

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New Delhi/Georgetown (Guyana): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar joined Guyanese President Irfaan Ali in the Commissioning of the India-designed and built MV MA Lisha ferry that will be capable of transporting more people and goods at a faster rate in the Caribbean region.

EAM Jaishankar, in tweets, said that MA Lisha means friendship.

“Joined President of Guyana Irfaan Ali at the Commissioning of the ferry MV MA Lisha today.

“This ferry would significantly enhance connectivity within Guyana. It will provide mobility and economic opportunities for distant hinterlands.

“MA Lisha’ means friendship. The ferry made by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers in Kolkata is its practical expression.”

The 70-metre-long vessel is built with a US$12.77 million Grant/Line of Credit from the Government of India.

Others present at the function on Sunday were Guyanese Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill, Indian High Commissioner KJ Srinivasa and Managing Director of Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited PR Hari.

Guyanese Public Works Minister, Juan Edghill, speaking at an event at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown to commemorate the arrival of the vessel on Friday, said the ferry will be a game changer for Guyana.

“This boat is a faster boat, we will be reducing travel time – sometimes between six to eight hours,” Edghill said.

The vessel, with a speed of 15 knots, also boasts a cold storage area that is available for the storage of goods.

The vessel reached the Guyanese port of Georgetown on April 6, completing a journey of over 11500 nautical miles. MV Ma Lisha is a modern Ocean-going Passenger-cum-Cargo Ferry that will operate from Georgetown to the North West District of the Caribbean nation.

The Ferry, built in accordance with international standards, will cut the travel time between Georgetown and the North West District by nearly half. It is designed to carry a load of 250 tonnes that will include 294 passengers, 14 cars, two fully-loaded trucks and 10 containers. It also has a refrigerated area to carry perishables.

The MV Ma Lisha can sail from Region One (Barima- Waini) to Trinidad and Tobago in just about 15 hours, which presents an opportunity for farmers in the region to export crab meat, ground provisions and other produce to the Twin Island Republic and other Caribbean countries, President Irfaan Ali said.

The ferry would help ease transportation woes that pose a great challenge to the Guyana plan to increase the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) food security plan.

Region One provides all the cassava, eddo, sweet potato, turmeric, ginger and cage culture fish needs of the Twin Island Republic.

With transportation woes solved, President Ali said the government will be better positioned to invest in more agro-processing and port facilities in the region, that are expected to stimulate greater agricultural production.

The ferry will be able to transport more people to and from Guyana’s North West District at a faster rate and at a cheaper cost.

The ferry is part of the modern sea-going vessels Guyana now owns.

India is being tapped to possibly supply more vessels to the Caribbean region since the region is keen on expanding agricultural production and intra-regional trade.

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