Kasarkod, Padubidri beaches accorded ‘Blue Flag’ tag

Accolades conferred: Padubidri beach near Udupi has been selected for the ‘Blue Flag’ certification.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Two beaches in the State are among the eight in the country that have bagged the coveted eco-label ‘Blue Flag’ from the international agency Foundation for Environment Education, Denmark. The two are Kasarkod beach near Honnavar in Uttara Kannada and Padubidri beach near Udupi.

Earlier, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had embarked upon a programme for ‘Blue Flag’ certification for select 13 beaches in the country.

According to the Ministry, a ‘Blue Flag’ beach is an eco-tourism model to provide tourists clean and hygienic bathing water, facilities/amenities, safe and healthy environment and sustainable development of the area. The certification is awarded by the Denmark-based agency based on 33 stringent criteria in four major heads that is environmental education and information, bathing water quality, environment management and conservation and safety and services in the beaches.

A communiqué from Arvind Nautiyal, National Project Director, Society for Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) under the Ministry to the district administrations of Uttara Kannada and Udupi said on Sunday that the International Jury of the Denmark agency “would like to award the Blue Flag to the very first eight beaches in India”.

Kasarkod and Padubidri beaches have grey water treatment plants, solid waste management plants, disabled-friendly equipment to enable them to enter seawater, seating arrangements, clean drinking water, washroom, changing room, bathing facility, disabled-friendly and general toilets, parking facilities, solar power plant, solar lighting, and the like.

K. Harish Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, Uttara Kannada, who heads the District Tourism Development Committee, told The Hindu that the certification has prompted the Uttara Kannada administration to develop more beaches to attract a large number of tourists for promoting tourism in the district. The district has immense potential for the same. “We have identified three more beaches to develop on the lines of Kasarkod beach,” he said adding that two year’s effort had gone into developing Kasarkod beach.

Purushottam S., Deputy Director, Tourism, Uttara Kannada, said that a 750-m-long safe swimming zone has been created in Kasarkod, which is 2.5-km long. There is facility for sun bath, the beach has a gym, children’s play area, a watch tower. The government has spent about ₹8 crore to develop the beach in the past two years.

Chandrashekar Naik, in-charge Assistant Director (Tourism) and Deputy Director, Agriculture, Udupi, said that 500 m stretch of the Padubidri beach had been developed at an estimated cost of ₹10.68 crore over the past two years. The beach has a 200-m-long safe swimming zone.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 2:27:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/kasarkod-padubidri-beaches-accorded-blue-flag-tag/article32827723.ece

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