New Delhi, October 12 : In a proud moment for India, 8 beaches spread across 5 states and 2 union territories have been awarded the 'BLUE FLAG' by an International Jury comprising of eminent members viz UNEP, UNWTO, FEE, IUCN. The beaches that have been awarded the 'BLUE FLAG' are Shivrajpur (Dwarka-Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Kappad (Kerala), Rushikonda (AP), Golden (Puri-Odisha) and Radhanagar (A&N Islands).
India has also been awarded third position by the International Jury under the 'International Best Practices' for pollution control in coastal regions. “It is an outstanding feat considering that no 'BLUE FLAG' nation has ever been awarded for 8 beaches in a single attempt,” Prakash Javadekar said in a tweet message adding “this is also a global recognition of India’s conservation and sustainable development efforts”. “India is also the first country in “Asia-Pacific” region which has achieved this feat in just about 2 years’ time,” Minister of Environment further stated in another tweet.
Japan, South Korea and UAE are the only other Asian nations who have been conferred with a couple of Blue Flag beaches, however, in a time frame of about 5 to 6 years! "India is now in the league of 50 "BLUE FLAG” countries and we take pride in this honour to our Nation, planning to taking this journey forward to 100 such beaches in the country in the next five years. India began its humble journey in 2018 for development of pilot beaches (one each in coastal states/UTs) and presented the first set of 08 beaches for the certification for the ensuing tourist season 2020", the concerned Ministry read.
SICOM, MoEFCC, in its pursuit of 'Sustainable Development' of the coastal regions of India embarked upon a highly acclaimed and flagship program 'BEAMS' (Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services) under its ICZM (Integrated Coastal Zone Management) project. This was aimed at striving for the coveted International eco-label 'Blue flag', accorded by The Foundation of Environment Education, FEE Denmark.
The objective of the BEAMS program is to abate pollution in coastal waters and beaches, promote sustainable development of beach facilities, protect and conserve coastal ecosystems and natural resources and encourage local authorities and stakeholders to strive and maintain high standards of cleanliness, hygiene, safety and security for beachgoers in accordance with coastal environment norms and regulations. This program promotes beach tourism and recreation in absolute harmony with nature; and is unique in that sense.