The Centre issued an Extraordinary Gazette Notification declaring a list of activities and facilities that would be permissible in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) areas of certain beaches, which have been identified for obtaining the ‘Blue Flag’ certification.
- In July 2019, the Ministry of Environment had identified 13 beaches across the country for the Blue Flag certification.
- According to the latest notification, the following activities and facilities would be permitted in the CRZ of these beaches, including Islands, subject to maintaining a minimum distance of 10 meters from the High Tide Line (HTL): Grey water treatment plant; Solar power plant; Landscaping lighting; CCTV surveillance; First aid station; Parking facilities etc.
- These activities and facilities would be exempt from prior clearance under the provisions of CRZ Notification, Island Protection Zone Notification and Island Coastal Regulation Zone Notifications respectively.
What is ‘Blue Flag’ certification?
- The ‘Blue Flag’ is a certification that can be obtained by a beach, marina, or sustainable boating tourism operator, and serves as an eco-label. The certification is known as an indication of high environmental and quality standards.
- The certification is awarded by the Denmark-based non-profit Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) with 33 stringent criteria under four major heads for the beaches: (i) Environmental Education and Information (ii) Bathing Water Quality (iii) Environment Management and Conservation and (iv) Safety and Services.
- The Blue Flag Programme started in France in 1985 and in areas outside Europe since 2001.
- 47 countries currently participate in the program, and 4,573 beaches, marinas, and boats have this certification.
Source : Indian Express