Odisha's Chandrabhaga to be Asia’s first 'Blue Flag' beach

The scenic Chandrabhaga on the Konark coast is all set to become the first ‘Blue Flag’ beach of Asia for maintaining cleanliness and environment standards.
Odisha's Chandrabhaga to be Asia’s first 'Blue Flag' beach

BHUBANESWAR: The scenic Chandrabhaga on the Konark coast is all set to become the first ‘Blue Flag’ beach of Asia for maintaining cleanliness and environment standards.  The blue flag certification is awarded to clean and environment-friendly beaches that strictly comply with 33 environment and tourism-related conditions. Chandrabhaga will receive the tag on the occasion of World Environment Day on Tuesday.

As part of the ‘Blue Flag Project’ initiated by the Union Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) last year, 13 beaches across the country were selected by their respective State Governments.  

The Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICoM) is facilitating the blue flag certification process by way of developing required infrastructure on the beaches. An integrated coastal management scheme, referred as Beach Management Service (BeaMS) has also been introduced to reduce existing pollutants on beaches and achieve such high international standards.

The Odisha Government through State Project Management Unit (SPMU) and Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP) has taken up a pilot project in Chandrabhaga to maintain the international standards.

“The moment a blue flag is hoisted on a beach, the mention is made in the global headquarters of Foundation for Environment Education in Copenhagen, Denmark. Tourists who are familiar with the blue flag beaches and its standards then plan their holidays,” said an official.

In order to maintain the standard, facilities like container based bio-toilet blocks, container based changing rooms and shower panels in bamboo houses, grey water treatment plant for conservation of water, renewable energy through off grid mini solar power plant and purified drinking water facility free of cost will be set up at Chandrabhaga, which has the best water quality in the country.

Similarly, stainless steel litter bins, seating benches, solid waste management through composting unit and mechanical raking of sand, sit-out umbrella thatch with recliner chairs, LED street lights in beach area, outdoor fitness equipment for recreational activities, amphibian wheel chair for disabled tourists and pathways/jogging track for recreational activities will also be developed.

While the core development will be done by the SICoM, peripheral activities will be undertaken by SPMU and ICZMP. The selected beach is about a stretch of 1.115 km starting from the present beach and extended towards its southward direction.

The SPMU has engaged State Pollution Control Board for sampling and estimation of bathing water quality as per the requirement of SICOM. The Konark NAC will monitor day to day maintenance activity.

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