State scouts locations for ‘Blue Flag beach’ programme

The Tamil Nadu government is scouting suitable locations to implement a ‘Blue Flag beach’ programme, which will be funded by the Central government. The areas developed under the scheme will follow strict environmental, safety and accessibility criteria.

Initially, a proposal to develop Mahabalipuram under the programme was floated, as a pilot project, but officials found the waves and currents there to be quite strong. They are now looking at areas like Pulicat and other places where the quality of water is good, a senior official in the Environment Department told The Hindu.

Attracting tourists

The proposal will be implemented with financial assistance from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Minister K.C. Karuppanan told the Assembly on Monday.

“The main focus of the ‘Blue Flag beach’ programme is on attracting domestic and international tourists, besides sustainably managing beach spaces,” he said.

“Many beaches in the U.S., European countries and other nations have received ‘Blue Flag’ certification for being clean, accessible and conforming to strict standards. This will be an opportunity for us to have beaches that are plastic-free as well,” the official said. “We are looking at a few areas where the water quality is good for bathing. The certification has a set of parameters that need to be fulfilled for a clean beach. Right now, there are two ‘Blue Flag’ certified beaches in India, in Odisha and in Gujarat,” the official added.

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