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What are the Blue Flag Beaches of India?

By Dhrubaa Ghosh,

Not all sea beaches are the same. Learn more what makes these special.

Kovalam beach in Tamil Nadu and Eden beach in Puducherry have been granted Blue Flag certification.

Recently, the Kovalam beach of Chennai and Eden beach of Puducherry were in news. It is because they have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag certification. Our country has a total of 10 such beaches. We also heard that the Blue Flag is an international certification which is related to ecology standards. But exactly what is the Blue Flag? Let’s find out.   

What is a Blue Flag and who awards it?  
The world faces major environmental and ecological crisis today, much of which can be averted by increasing awareness. Denmark based non-profit Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) is the world's largest environment education organisation, with 100 countries working as active members, including India. Creating safe, clean and sustainable waterfronts is one of FEE’s global projects, and the Blue Flag program is part of it. This is a certification that is awarded to a beach, marina, or sustainable boating tourism operator, and serves as an eco-label recognised everywhere. FEE has strict environmental, educational, safety and access-related criteria that applicant beaches must meet and maintain. The certification is awarded annually to sea fronts in FEE member countries. 

What happens in a Blue Flag beach?  
Blue Flag beaches comply with 33 criteria set by FEE. Thee beaches must have a Beach Management Committee in place, following norms on bathing water quality near the shore, environmental education activities, regular cleaning of beach, safety of sensitive areas, plans to cope with pollution risks and disasters, provision of toilets, preservation of marine and freshwater habitats, supply of drinking water, and much more. The Tamil Nadu government had earlier this year that Kovalam Beach has been chosen to be developed as per the principles of the Blue Flag Beach Programme. The TN government treated this as a pilot project, and is keen on developing more beaches according to the Blue Flag Standards. 

Which are the Blue Flag beaches in India?  
You can visit 8 more Blue Flag beaches in India. They are Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Ghoghla (island of Diu), Kaskarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Kappad (Kerala), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Golden Beach (Odisha), and Radhanagar (Andaman and Nicobar Islands). These 8 beaches got the Blue Flag certification in 2020. 

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