Kozhikode

Kappad on track to be Kerala’s first Blue Flag beach

A renovated stretch on the Kappad beach . Apart from beautification and upgrading of safety, the construction of jogging track, washrooms, and rain shelters has been completed at the tourist destination.

A renovated stretch on the Kappad beach . Apart from beautification and upgrading of safety, the construction of jogging track, washrooms, and rain shelters has been completed at the tourist destination.   | Photo Credit: K_RAGESH

Beach development work in progress; jury to make final assessment in February

Around 55% of infrastructure development and beautification work has been completed on the historic Kappad beach in Kozhikode as part of efforts to win the international Blue Flag certification for the destination.

Kappad is the only beach to be shortlisted in Kerala to be considered for the prestigious label which can boost international tourist inflow into the spot.

The national jury comprising officials of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change will evaluate the renovation work at the site in February 2020 and submit its report to the international jury. The international jury will conduct the final assessment in April 2020 before taking a decision on awarding the certification, which is one of the most valued voluntary eco-labels given to beaches that meet the stringent environmental, educational, safety and sanitation criteria.

Ahead of the proposed review by the national jury, a district-level committee under the Collector will assess the work and give its suggestions. The nearly 1-km stretch of the beach is being developed under the guidance of the committee. Apart from beautification and upgrading of safety, the construction of jogging track, washrooms of international standards, and rain shelters has been completed. A major project that remains to be completed is the installation of solar panels.

According to Tourism Department officials, nearly ₹8 crore will be spent for the overall improvement of the destination and meeting all the 31 conditions set by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) which awards the certification. The management of all the renovated amenities at the spot too has been entrusted with a professional agency for the next two years.

It was in 2018 that FEE with networks in 77 countries shortlisted Kappad for the unique certification. Since then, a number of innovative action plans have been implemented to sensitise local communities to the concept and its importance in the global tourism map.

Ahead of the visit of the international jury, four more awareness campaigns with the slogan ‘I am saving my beach’ will be conducted. The first such event was held on Thursday.

A relay race with the participation of 40 students was held at Kappad on the occasion.

“Though there are plenty of Blue Flag certified beach destinations across the world, not even a single beach in India has made its entry to the official Blue Flag portal to attract international tourists who look for safety, hygiene, and unpolluted environment,” said an official attached to the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC).

Kerala is now in the fifth position in the timely execution of preparatory work required for the certification process, the official added.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 11:38:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/kappad-on-track-to-be-states-first-blue-flag-beach/article30421889.ece

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