In what can be called as a major boost to Odisha tourism, the Golden beach in Puri is one of the eight beaches in the country to receive the coveted  ‘Blue Flag’ certification. For the unversed, Blue Flag certification is given by the Foundation for Environment Education (FEE), Denmark after the beaches meet 33 criteria fixed by them. Blue Flag beaches are said to be the cleanest beaches.

“Glad to share that Golden Beach of #Puri has received coveted #BlueFlag certification by FEE Denmark by conforming to the stringent environmental norm and ensuring world class sustainable tourist amenities. The renowned eco-label will add to the charm of the #WorldHeritageCity,” tweeted Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

A total of 870-metre stretch has been developed under the World Bank-funded Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP) of the State Forest and Environment Department and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. With a total investment of Rs 7.88 crore, basic infrastructure like public toilets, changing and shower room, sitting arrangements, demarcation of safe swimming zone, watch towers, solar lighting system among others have been developed.

Renowned sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik dedicated a sand art to celebrate the moment. Sharing a picture on his Twitter account, he wrote, “Proud moment for us as our Puri Golden Beach Odisha have bagged the coveted #BlueFlag Certification. Congratulations to entire team who worked tirelessly to achieve this big feat. My SandArt at #BlueFlagGoldenBeach”.

The other seven beaches to receive Blue Flag tag are Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Kappad (Kerala), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Kasarkod (Karnataka), Radhanagar (Andaman), Ghoghla (Diu) and Padubidri (Karnataka)