New Delhi : Environmentally friendly, clean and with international standards based tourism facilities, eight beaches in India have been awarded the ‘Blue Flag’ status. With this, the country now joins 50 Blue Flag countries of the world. On this occasion, Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar said on Sunday that getting the certificate of ‘Blue Flag’ to eight coasts of India is a moment of pride for the country. Javadekar said that India has got the third place on the standards of pollution control on the coasts from the international juries.
The minister said that India is the first country in the Asia Pacific region to achieve this within just two years. This is the first time that eight beaches together got ‘Blue Flag’ status in the first attempt. Earlier, Japan, South Korea and two coasts of the United Arab Emirates received this status after five-six years of effort.
Javadekar said that this achievement in the direction of conservation and sustainable development brings international recognition to India. India’s goal is to build 100 coasts of the country in accordance with the ‘Blue Flag’ standard in the coming five years. He said that in the year 2018, the pilot project was launched with the goal of developing a total of eight shores by choosing one coast from each coastal state and union territory. The beaches that receive the ‘Blue Flag’ are Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu), Kasarakod and Padubidri (both in Karnataka), Kappad (Kerala), Rushikonda (Andhra), Golden (Odisha) and Radhanagar (Andaman).
India is developing according to the ‘Blue Flag’ standards to make the coast environment and tourism friendly under its Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project. This would include equipping the seashore with plastic-free, dirt-free, solid waste management, ensuring availability of clean water for tourists, developing tourist facilities as per international standards and studying environmental impacts around the coastline. The ‘Blue Flag’ certificate is conferred internationally by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), Denmark, an NGO.