Ramakanta Biswas

The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) guidelines will be strictly followed while carrying out beautification of Puri beach in Odisha, said Union Environment and Forest Minister Ashwini Choubey on Thursday.

Choubey, who is on a two-day visit to Odisha, participated in the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ organised at the Puri Blue Flag beach. The programme is being conducted at 10 Blue Flag beaches across the country.

The Union Minster said orders have been issued to make Puri beach encroachment-free. “The Blue Flag beach needs to be maintained properly as its certification is held every year. The certificate is being given at international level,” he said.

“Ten beaches in India have been awarded the prestigious certification among 4,000 beaches worldwide. It’s a major achievement under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he added.  

Speaking on the occasion, Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi said, “I think it’s a major initiative taken today. We have come forward together (for protection of the beach). It is a collective effort.” 

Notably, the golden beach of Puri received the prestigious ‘Blue Flag’ tag or certification, one of the world’s most recognised voluntary eco-labels, in October last year. The certification was awarded by the Denmark-based non-profit Foundation for Environmental Education or FEE.

In July this year, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the State government will develop and beautify five more beaches to secure the Blue Flag certification.

"Odisha is developing five more beaches to secure the Blue Flag certification as part of its efforts to give its tourism prospects a fillip. Plans to meet international standards are being rolled out for Pati Sonapur and Haripur in Ganjam district and Niladri, Muhan and Jahania in Puri district," Patnaik said in a statement.