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Odisha Plans More Blue Flag Beaches

Bhubaneswar: After receiving overwhelming response for the Blue Flag beach at Puri, the State Government has been planning to redevelop five more beaches in different districts to meet international standards.

“As part of its efforts to boost beach tourism, Odisha is developing five more beaches to secure Blue Flag certification. Plans are being rolled out to meet international standards for Pati Sonapur & Haripur in Ganjam & Niladri, Muhan & Jahania in Puri,” Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said through twitter handle on Sunday.

Sources said the forest and environment department and the tourism department will jointly redevelop the five beaches. With the achievement of the Blue Flag tag for the beaches, Pilgrim city Puri will be turned as the best beach city of not only Odisha but also eastern India.

According to sources, the work of Niladri beach has almost reached the final stage, while activities will start soon at four other beaches. As per preliminary estimation, around Rs 1.5 crore will be spent for the development of each beach.

Soon after the completion of the beautification and other infrastructure works at beaches, the Tourism Department will apply for the status of Blue Flag, the source said.

There will be toilets, tourist seating, solar lighting system, watch towers etc. at beaches. However, no permanent buildings will be constructed at beaches.

The Copenhagen-based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) had on October 11 granted the coveted Blue Flag certification to Puri’s Golden beach, a first for Odisha. The 500-metre beach is adjacent to the Puri beach. It is located between Bankimuhan and Mayfair Hotel.

This was achieved due to the continuous efforts of the former Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy, Tourism Secretary Vishal Dev and IFS officer Sushant Nanda, who conceptualized and supervised the work while the then Puri Collector Balwant Singh made it happen on the ground.  

Now, the District Collector Samarth Verma and his team are working to give more Blue Flag beaches in Puri.