Odisha Tourism adds another Accolade as Puri Beach gets Blue Flag Tag
The renowned Golden Beach stretch of the Puri sea beach was awarded the Blue Flag tag by the Copenhagen-based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) on Sunday for adhering to its strict requirements. The Blue Flag certification is a prestigious mark of achievement that highlights the efforts to maintain an ecologically-balanced beach structure with minimal pollution.
The Blue Flag tag is beneficial for Odisha Tourism as it helps attract both domestic and international travellers. Last year, Odisha’s Chandrabhaga beach was awarded the tag by the same institute. To obtain the certification, a beach must comply with thirty three pre-determined quality standards. The award had prompted the Puri administration to take up the challenge of obtaining the honour for itself. A year later, that dream has been realised.
The Centre under its ambitious Beach Environment and Aesthetic Management System (BEAMS) programme had last month put forward the names of the eight beaches to the FEE for consideration of awarding the Blue Flag tag. These were Shiavrajpur (Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu), Kasarkod (Karnataka), Padubidri (Karnataka), Kappad (Kerala), Golden Beach (Puri, Odisha), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh) and Radhanagar (Andaman). Puri’s inclusion marks yet another achievement for the Naveen Patnaik-led government.
Out of the eight kilometre-long shoreline in Puri, the 870 meters between Digabareni and Mayfair hotel was funded by the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP). It was this stretch that was subsequently nominated for the Blue Flag certification.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik did not hide his excitement at the award of the tag. On Twitter, he said, “Glad to share that Golden Beach of Puri has received coveted Blue Flag certification by FEE Denmark by conforming to the stringent environmental norm and ensuring world-class sustainable tourist amenities. The renowned eco-label will add to the charm of the World Heritage City.”