Odisha’s Chandrabhaga beach becomes Asia’s first to get Blue Flag certification


Bhubaneswar: The World Environment Day celebrations in Odisha are going to be a lot more merrier this time with the state’s Chandrabhaga beach on the coast of Konark becoming  Asia’s first to get the Blue Flag certification — a tag given to environment-friendly  clean beaches, equipped with amenities of international standards for tourists.

“To achieve the Blue Flag standards, a beach must be plastic-free and equipped with a waste management system. Clean water should be available for tourists, apart from international amenities. The beach should have facilities for studying the environmental impact around the area,” explained Arvind Nautiyal, project head of the Society for Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM), an Environment Ministry’s body working for the management of coastal areas, in accordance with the Blue Flag standards.

Twelve more beaches in the country are being developed by the SICOM. Among them are the Chiwla and Bhogave beaches in Maharashtra and one beach each from Puducherry, Goa, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The honour will be awarded today, Environment Ministry sources said.”To achieve the Blue Flag standards, a beach had to strictly comply with 33 environment and tourism-related conditions. The standards were established by the Copenhagen-based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) in 1985,” Nautiyal said. The Environment Ministry embarked on the Blue Flag project in December 2017.

(With inputs from PTI)