Padubidri Beach undergoes sea change for intl eco tag

Padubidri Beach undergoes sea change to secure intl eco tag

Padubidri Beach awaits the coveted Blue Flag international certification.

The gentle evening breeze blowing from Padubidri End Point, where Kamini rivulet slowly meanders and joins the Arabian Sea, not only lifts spirits but leaves visitors with a feeling of contentment.

This beach blessed with white sands and located amidst lush green paddy fields is making news for its efforts to secure international recognition.

“Padubidri Beach in Udupi district is only a step away from receiving the coveted Blue Flag international certification,” Udupi Deputy Commissioner G Jagadeesha had told reporters weeks ago.  

In order to secure the coveted certification, the beach was developed based on the cleanliness, environment protection and water quality criteria.

At Padubidri Beach, boards display information about the Blue Flag programme, bathing water quality, a map of the beach indicating different facilities, laws governing the use of the beach and surrounding areas.

Deputy Commissioner Jagadeesha told DH that the beach presently complies with the water quality sampling and frequency requirements. Additional samples were collected from the nearby water bodies in order to prove that such inflows do not affect the bathing water quality.

How certification helps locals?

Kaup MLA Lalaji R Mendon said since 2016, attempts were made to help the beach to secure Blue Flag status. An amount of Rs 10 crore was spent on the development of the beach.

“The final authentication is pending before the international juries,” Mendon said and added that Blue Flag status will surely boost tourism activities in the beach.

The increased footfalls at the beach will create employment opportunities.

“The development will not affect the livelihood or threaten the lifestyle of local residents,” the deputy commissioner assured.

All attempts will be made to keep the beach clean and tidy, he added.

The deputy commissioner is sure that the jury will agree that Padubidri Beach deserves the eco-label.

“We have met all parameters for the certification,” he added.

Importance of the Blue Flag programme

The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)-an international non-governmental, non-profit organisation based in Copenhagen, runs the ‘Blue Flag’ programme for beaches and marinas.

The campaign began in France in 1985. It is being implemented across Europe since 1987 and in areas outside Europe since 2001.

Today, Blue Flag is a global programme with the participation of many countries.

The programme challenges local authorities and beach operators to achieve high standards in four categories, which are, water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety.

Beaches shortlisted for the eco-tag

The beaches shortlisted for the prestigious eco-tag include Shivrajpur in Gujarat, Ghoghla in Daman and Diu, Padubidri in Karnataka, Kappad in Kerala, Rushikonda in Andhra Pradesh, Golden Beach in Odisha and Radhanagar Beach in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The jury has awarded Blue Flag labels to 4,664 beaches and marinas from 46 countries. India is yet to get a beach with this tag.

FEE had set four key parameters and 33 criteria for beaches to be accredited under the Blue Flag programme.

Beaches should satisfy FEE’s four key parameters and 33 criteria in order to be accredited under the Blue Flag programme.

Udupi Deputy Commissioner G Jagadeesha said that it is a matter of pride that Padubidri Beach is in the national shortlist.