The Kappad beach in Kerala’s Kozhikode district is one of eight beaches in India that have been awarded the coveted Blue Flag certification by an eminent international jury that comprises members of the UNEP, UNWTO, FEE and IUCN.
The seven other beaches selected for the prestigious honour include Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Golden (Odisha) and Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands).
The announcement was made by Union Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar who said, “It is an outstanding feat considering that no ‘Blue Flag’ nation has ever been awarded for 8 beaches in a single attempt…this is also a global recognition of India’s conservation and sustainable development efforts”.
The jury also awarded India a ‘third prize’ under ‘international best practices’ for control of pollution in coastal regions.
In July last year, the Indian government had shortlisted Kappad beach among 12 such beaches for the Blue Flag certification. Before this, no beach in the country had a Blue Flag certification.
Located away from the hustle and bustle of Kozhikode city in northern Kerala, the Kappad beach is one of the state’s highly tourist-attracted destinations due to its topography of small rock formations and coconut palms lining the coast.
In order to be eligible for the certification, the Environment Ministry had declared that specific facilities as part of infrastructure creation would be permitted in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) areas of the beaches subject to maintaining a minimum distance of 10 metres from the High Tide Line (HTL). These facilities include drinking water kiosks, changing rooms, container-based toilet blocks, off-grid solar PV panels, portable bamboo made seating benches, sit-out umbrellas, watch towers and beach information hoardings among others.
In line with the coastal clearances, work on the construction of bamboo toilets, watch-tower and stone-paved walkways had begun at Kappad last year and was nearing completion.
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