In a bid to promote eco-friendly tourism, Odisha is aiming to make the unexplored Pati-Sonapur beach located in Ganjam district as the State’s second blue flag beach. The first one is Puri’s Golden beach.
The authorities have already started setting up amenities and facilities in Pati-Sonapur. These include washrooms and toilet blocks, arrangements for vending and seating, waste management unit, provision for open showers, watch towers, and children’s park among others. These works are expected to be completed in the next six months.
Just like the Puri beach, here too, there will be no permanent structures and buildings. Keeping this in mind bamboo is being used as construction material for the temporary structures.
The Department of Tourism is funding and overseeing implementation of works like a gate, parking, pathway, etc, while the Society of Integrated Coastal Management, an agency under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change is taking care of the core work.
The entire project is being supervised by the Beach Management Committee of Ganjam headed by the Collector.
The Blue Flag certification is given by Denmark’s Foundation for Environment Education and in order to get it beaches have to fulfil 33 stringent conditions. Speaking to media on this, Amlan Nayak, the District Forest Officer of Berhampur said: “Since Sonapur ticks all the boxes, it has been proposed as a blue flag beach. After the amenities are developed, SIACOM will apply for the blue flag certification. As of now, the agency will move the Foundation for Environment Education this month for a pilot blue flag status for the beach.”
Apart from Pati-Sonapur, the Tourism Department will also develop four more beaches for the blue flag status. These are Haripur beach in Ganjam, Niladri, Muhana and Jahania beaches in Puri district.