Chandrabhaga in Odisha will become the first beach in Asia to get the “blue flag” tag honour. The tag, which will be conferred the title on June 5, gives the beach an upper hand among others in the country, as it signifies the cleanliness and environment standards it has achieved.
Stocked with the amenities that meets international standards, a blue flag beach attracts tourists from all over the world. Now, 12 other Indian beaches are in line to achieve blue flag standards and are being developed under a joint effort of the Society for Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) and the Environment Ministry.
These include the Chiwla and Bhogave beaches in Maharashtra and one beach each from Puducherry, Goa, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Speaking at a conference to commemorate World Environment Day, on making beaches pollution-free, Arvind Nautiyal, SCIOM project head, claimed that every beach has to strictly comply with 33 environment and tourism-related conditions in order to obtain the blue flag tag.
He further added that a blue flag beach must also be plastic-free and equipped with a waste management system with additional facilities for studying the environmental impact around the area.
The environment ministry took up the project of maintaining beaches in India to meet the blue flag standards in December 2017. The project aims to improve the aquatic habitat by eradicating pollution and developing ecological tourism.
A Copenhagen-based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) had set the blue flag beach standards in 1985.
(Written by Shreya Bansal)