Active plans are in the works to launch a passenger ship service between the UAE and the southern Indian state of Kerala, offering Indian expats a convenient and cost-effective mode of travel, a report said.

This ambitious project is being spearheaded by Sharjah Indian association in partnership with a private company, Ananthapuri Shipping and Logistics Private Limited, with the support of the government of Kerala and the Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (Norka), a department of the Kerala government to address the issues of non-resident Keralites.

The service could help Indian expats reach Kerala in roughly three days, Y A Rahim, the President of the Indian Association Sharjah, was quoted as saying by a Khaleej Times report.

Rahim said the plan is to get the service up and running before school break in December.

"We want to make sure that Indian expats in the UAE can travel to their hometown without paying exorbitant airline charges,” he said.

The passenger ship tickets are likely to cost around Dh442.

According to him, delegates of the Kerala government will meet India’s central government ministers next week about the project. “All we need now is the approval from the Central government,” said Rahim. “The delegation will meet on September 24. I don’t see why there should be any objection to the project. If we get the approval, we can get the service trial run started by November.”

The passenger ship will take three days to complete the trip between UAE and India. It can carry up to 1,250 passengers at one time. Passengers can take up to 200kg of luggage during this trip. According to the planners, there will be a wide variety of food items as well as entertainment on board for the travellers.

The ship is currently scheduled to sail to two destinations - Kochi and Beypore (Kozhikode).

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