Udupi, Jan 29: The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change plans to convert India’s 10 popular sea beaches into international quality Blue Flag destination in 2018 to ensure cleanliness and safety of these beaches. Among the 10 beaches, Padukere Beach located near Malpe in Karnataka’s Udupi district has been listed on the Blue Flag list.
Welcoming the move, Karnataka tourism Director Manjula said that her department already had listed Padukere beach as it fits into most of 33 categories listed by the ministry to select.
All the coastal states have nominated the pilot beaches. Formal nominations are, however, awaited from Union territories like Daman and Diu, Puducherry, Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar islands. Sources said that Andaman would be the only place from where two beaches might be selected for the Blue Flag certification.
These ten beaches are being taken up as demonstration projects. Once they are cleaned up, 90 more beaches would be turned into Blue Flag zones.
The Blue Flag is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education to ensure following a set of stringent standards to clean up the popular seaside destinations.
None of the Indian beaches carry this certification, while Spain has 578 Blue Flag beaches. Other countries with a large number of Blue Flag beaches are Turkey (436), Greece (395), Italy (342) and Portugal (299).
The developmental activities along the beach would include the creation of toilets and proper management of the waste material generated by tourists.
According to the existing Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) regulations, developmental activities are permitted in CRZ-2 (urban) and CRZ-3 (rural) areas. However, construction is prohibited in the CRZ-1 areas, which is they are between the high tide line and low tide line along the 7,500 km coastline.
Pramod Madhwaraj, Karnataka Minister for Fisheries, Youth Empowerment and Sports, and Udupi district in-charge said that getting the certification would help in attracting international tourists to the beach.
An amount of Rs. 69 lakh had been spent to improve the road connectivity to Padukere. The construction of toilets and gazebos would be taken up at Padukere beach.
The beach facing the Arabian Sea, separated from Malpe fisheries harbour by the Udyavara rivulet, had now got road connectivity from Malpe. Hence efforts were being made to develop both the beaches.
A large number of youth in Malpe were dependent on fisheries. But tourism was a growing sector. The objective was also to create employment opportunities in the tourism sector.
The Malpe beach, the St. Mary’s Island (about 6.5 km from Malpe) and the Padukere beach along with the Sea Walkway will attract more tourists here and facilitate the development of tourism, Mr. Madhwaraj said.
10 Indian beaches including one in Udupi to be converted into global quality