In an effort to boost Odisha's tourism potential along its coastline, the state government has decided to develop and beautify five more beaches to secure the Blue Flag certification, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Sunday.
Puri's golden beach has already received the coveted 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.
The departments of forest & environment and tourism will jointly redevelop the five beaches.
The initiative, if successful, will make the pilgrim city one of the most sought-after coastal destinations in eastern India, a government source said.
Work on Niladri beach is nearing completion, while activities on the four other shores would soon begin, he said, adding that a provision of Rs 1.5 crore has been made for each of the five projects.
Among the amenities being provided at the beaches are toilets, seating arrangments, a solar lighting system and watch towers. However, no permanent buildings will be constructed on the shores.
A first for Odisha, the blue flag tag, awarded by Copenhagen-based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), was received by Puri's Golden beach on October 11 last year.
The beach spread over 500 meters between Bankimuhan and Mayfair Hotel in Puri.