New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: As many as eight beaches in India have been awarded the iconic Blue Flag certification, an international eco-level tag which is one of the world’s most recognised awards for clean, safe and environment-friendly beaches, marinas and sustainable boating tourism operators. The eight beaches that have received the international honour are Shivrajpur (Dwarka-Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Kappad (Kerala), Rushikonda (AP), Golden (Puri-Odisha) and Radhanagar (A&N Islands).

Terming it a "proud moment" for the country, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the certification is a global recognition of India's conservation and sustainable development efforts.

The government had on September 18 recommended these eight beaches for the coveted international eco-label. "An outstanding feat, as no #BLUEFLAG nation has ever been awarded for 8 beaches in a single attempt," the minister said.

"India is also the first country in Asia-Pacific region which has achieved this feat in just about 2 years'' time," he added.

Japan, South Korea and the UAE are the only other Asian nations who have been conferred with a couple of Blue Flag beaches, however, in a time frame of about five to six years, the statement said.

The Blue Flag was created in France in 1985, as a pilot scheme from the Office of the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe where French coastal municipalities were awarded the Blue Flag on the basis of criteria covering sewage treatment and bathing water quality. 

A Blue Flag beach is an eco-tourism model endeavouring to provide the tourists or beachgoers clean and hygienic bathing water, facilities, safe and healthy environment and sustainable development of the area. The recommendations are made by an independent national jury composed of eminent environmentalists and scientists.

Posted By: Rakesh Kumar Jha