With people’s participation, the ministry with help from Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) wishes to make them of international standards in coming 3-4 years, union minister for environment, forest and climate change Prakash Javadekar announced.
Hoisting the international Blue Flag at eight beaches – Padubidri in Udupi and Kasarkod in Uttara Kannada virtually on Monday, Javadekar said, “It is a proud moment for India that all the eight beaches which were showcased have been awarded the coveted Blue Flag. I compliment and congratulate the state governments, officials and people for this feat,” he said.
Five of these eight beaches are on the West Coast and the remaining three on the East coast.
“With 100% results in India’s first attempt to get the coveted Blue Flag, we are now looking at increasing this number,” he said, adding various factors including cleanliness, facilities for various stakeholders only increases the feel good factor and helps promote tourism.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call for removing single use plastic in his December 27 episode of Mann Ki Baat, Javadekar stressed on the need for a people’s movement to keep the beaches clean. “Every one of us must work collectively to keep the beach free from litter and encourage tourists to keep beaches clean,” he said adding beaches are the face of a nation and a clean beach helps send across an important message.
Union environment secretary R P Gupta said a clean beach is a primary indicator of the health of a coastline. The ministry is creating its own national standards under the recently launched eco-label Beach Environment and Aesthetics Management Services and will try to develop 100 more beaches under this model in the next five years in 13 coastal states, he said.