A new chapter in history of Kappad

Major feat: It was in 2018 that the Kappad beach was shortlisted for the Blue Flag certification.

Major feat: It was in 2018 that the Kappad beach was shortlisted for the Blue Flag certification.

The prestigious Blue Flag will be hoisted on the Kappad Beach in Kozhikode on Monday, endorsing a beach destination’s compliance with a number of global safety and environmental standards.

Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran will hoist the flag which will mark the culmination of efforts made by the Tourism Department and the district administration to secure the most coveted recognition by the Foundation for Environmental Education.

At the national level, the flag hoisting ceremony covering all the eight beaches that won the honour will be opened by Minister for Forests and Environment Prakash Javadekar. It was on October 11 that a formal declaration on the beach winning the long-cherished eco-label was confirmed by the Union government.

The much-awaited certification was a proud moment for the district, as it was the only destination in Kerala shortlisted for the Blue Flag tag. A number of quality parameters had been met for unfolding a new chapter in the history of Kappad where Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed in 1498.

Tourism Department officials said the total cost earmarked for the renovation project was ₹8 crore. There were over 30 different criteria to be met while executing work. A professional team had been appointed to implement the project. According to officials, the maintenance of the beach for the next two years too has been entrusted with an agency for meeting certification guidelines.

It was in 2018 that Kappad beach was shortlisted for the unique certification process. There were 12 States in India which were eligible to vie for the title. Considering the eco-label’s role in tourism promotion activities, the district administration had conducted a series of awareness programmes to sensitise local communities to the process and its importance in the international tourism sector.

As part of the final certification process, ‘I am saving my beach’ flag had already been hoisted on the beach. All the major renovation projects and safety arrangements had also been completed. A number of factors, including environmental issues, safety measures and sanitation standards, had been taken into account while executing projects.

The national jury representing the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change had evaluated the renovation work and forwarded its report to the international jury for final approval. There was also a district-level committee under the District Collector to oversee the implementation of various projects as part of the certification process. Nearly one kilometre of the beach had been brought under the development project based on its recommendation. Facilities such as jogging track, washrooms, and scenic rain shelters had been completed at the site, apart from many other beautification projects.

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Printable version | Aug 26, 2022 2:50:15 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/a-new-chapter-in-history-of-kappad/article33432201.ece