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The Kovalam beach in Chennai and Eden beach in Puducherry have now been awarded the prestigious ‘’Blue Flag’’ certification, an international eco-level tag taking the number of such beaches in the country to 10.
“Happy to announce India has now 10 International blue flag beaches with the addition of Kovalam and Eden beaches this year and recertification for 8 beaches which got the tag in 2020. Another milestone in our journey towards a clean and green India led by PM Shri Narendra Modi Ji,” Union Minister Bhupender Yadav tweeted.
Eight nominated beaches namely Shivrajpur- Gujarat, Ghoghla- Diu, Kaskarkod and Padubidri – Karnataka, Kappad –Kerala, Rushikonda – Andhra Pradesh, Golden – Odisha, and Radhanagar- Andaman and Nicobar were also recertified. These eight beaches had got the Blue Flag certification in 2020.
While presenting the revised Budget for 2021-22, the Tamil Nadu government announced the intent for obtaining the prestigious Blue Flag Certification for 10 Beaches in the next five years with the support of local bodies. The State Environment Department Minister Siva V Meyyanathan earlier this month said Rs 100 crore would be spent in the next five years to beautify the beaches across the state.
As per the government, the Blue Flag Beach must comply with 33 Blue Flag Criteria in order to be awarded Blue Flag accreditation including constitution of Beach Management Committee, display on Information about beach and bathing water quality, conducting environmental education activities, cleaning of beach, managing of sensitive areas, public safety control measures, emergency plans to cope with pollution risks, provision of toilets/rest rooms, monitoring of marine and freshwater sensitive habitats, supply of drinking water etc.
The government earlier said that Kovalam Beach in Chengalpattu District has been chosen to develop, as per the principles of the Blue Flag Beach Programme in Tamil Nadu, as a pilot project as it meets the water quality and safety criteria as per the Blue Flag Standards.
Marina Beach – Chennai District, Manalmelkudi Beach – Pudukottai District, Kushi beach, Ramanathapuram District, Silver Beach, Cuddalore District, Kottaipattinam Beach, Pudukottai District, Neelankarai Beach, Chengalpattu District, Kameshwaram Beach, Nagapattinam District, Naravakkam, Marakkanam Beach, Villupuram District, Kayalpattinam Beach, Thoothukudi District and Neithal Nagar Beach, Nagapattinam are the ten other beaches where the government said it would implement the programme.
The ‘Blue Flag’ is a certification that can be obtained by a beach, marina, or sustainable boating tourism operator, and serves as an eco-label. The certification is awarded by the Denmark-based non-profit Foundation for Environmental Education, which sets stringent environmental, educational, safety-related and access-related criteria that applicants must meet and maintain. It is awarded annually to beaches and marinas in FEE member countries.
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