The Puri beach in the state of Odisha will be the first beach in Asia to get the Blue Flag certification.
The tag is given to environment-friendly and clean beaches which are equipped with amenities of international standards for tourists.
Federation of Environment Education (FEE), a Denmark-based organization, selected Puri beach for the coveted Blue Flag certification.
According to the Ministry of Forest and Environment, besides Puri, a total of 13 beaches in India will now have environment-friendly resources to transform them and bring them to international standards. All these beaches will also get the Blue Flag certification.
The Society for Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM), an initiative by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, is spearheading the development of India's beaches, under this programme.
A beach needs to comply with at least 33 pre-requisites to achieve the Blue Flag certificate. This includes quality of sea water, toilet, changing rooms, first aid centres, solar lighting and parking lots. While the central government will be investing Rs 10 crore for the project, SICOM will fund it with Rs 2 crore.