New Delhi (NVI): Union Minister Prakash Javadekar today virtually hoisted International Blue Flags at eight beaches across the country, the Environment Ministry said.
According to an official statement, the beaches where the Blue Flags were hoisted are Kappad (Kerala), Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Golden (Odisha) and Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands).
The flags were also simultaneously hoisted on these beaches physically by state ministers and senior officials of the respective state and Union territories, the Ministry said.
“India secured the International Blue Flag Certification for these beaches on October 6, when an International Jury comprising of member organizations UNEP, UNWTO, UNESCO, IUCN, ILS, FEE etc. announced the award at Copenhagen, Denmark,” the Ministry of Environment said in a statement.
Blue Flag certification is a globally recognised eco-label accorded by “Foundation for Environment Education in Denmark” based on 33 stringent criteria, it added.
After hosting the flags, Javadekar lauded the efforts of the state and central government as well as the people saying that neat and clean beaches are an indicator that the coastal environment is in good health.
“The Blue Flag certification is a global recognition of India’s conservation and sustainable development efforts,” he was quoted as saying in the statement.
During the event, the Minister also informed that hundred more such beaches will be made Blue Flag in coming 3-4 years and highlighted that cleaning beaches needs to be a made a “Jan Andolan” not only for its aesthetic value and tourism prospects, but more importantly towards reducing the menace of marine litter and making coastal environment sustainable.
India started its journey of sustainable development of coastal regions in 2018 by launching its beach cleaning campaign –I-AM- SAVING-MY-BEACH simultaneously at 13 coastal states, thereafter implementing ministry’s coveted program Beach Environment and Aesthetics Management Services (BEAMS), the ministry further said.
The introduction of BEAMS program in 10 coastal states have resulted into international level of cleanliness at beaches with over 500 tonnes of solid waste collected, recycled and scientifically disposed at these beaches reducing the menace of marine litter by over 78 per cent marine plastic by over 83 per cent.
About 11,000 KL of water was saved by recycling and reuse with BEAMS program, which has resulted into an increase in footfall at these beaches by over 85 per cent cumulative, the statement added.