New Delhi: After Chandrabhaga beach of Odisha’s Konark coast became Asia’s first to get the Blue Flag certification — a tag given to environment-friendly beach, 12 more beaches to follow the same footsteps in India. The ‘Blue Flag’ certification is given to the beaches that are environment-friendly, clean, plastic-free, well- equipped with an effective waste management system and international-standard amenities for tourists. Along with Chandrabhaga beach, the environment ministry has also chosen Maharashtra’s Chiwla and Bhogave beaches for this green initiative. Apart from these, one beach from Puducherry, Goa, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands each has also been chosen as Blue Flag beach.
Through this project, the ministry aims to improve the aquatic habitat by cleaning the growing pollution and garbage in the Indian beaches and develop ecological tourism with constant progress and development of tourist facilities.
The History Of Blue Flag Certification
The Blue Flag beach standards established by Copenhagen-based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) in 1985 was first started from Paris. Within the next two years, almost all beaches in Europe were accorded the Blue Flag certification. The Blue Flag Campaign spread outside Europe, to South Africa, in 2001. Till June 5, Asia remained untouched, when Chandrabhaga beach of Odisha’s Konark coast became the first Blue Flag Certification beach.
Here Is How The Blue Flag Certification Will Transform Indian Beaches
1. The blue flag certified beaches will be clean and well-maintained. There will be waste disposal bins available in adequate numbers along with recycling facilities. Moreover, the beach will also have good sanitary facilities, with controlled sewage disposal.
2. At the beach there will be five environmental education activities as well, one can take up any activity as per their interest.
3. Blue Flag beaches will have a map also that will show the facilities available on the beach.
4. Unauthorised camping, driving or dumping will not be allowed.
5. At least one Blue Flag beach in each municipality will also have access and toilet facilities for the disabled.