Centre eases CRZ rules of beaches aspiring for Blue Flag tag: What is this certification?

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News:Recently, the Ministry of Environment and Forest has relaxed Coastal Regulation Zone(CRZ) rules for Blue flag beaches.

Facts:

About the relaxation of CRZ rules:

  • India’s Coastal Regulation Zone(CRZ) rules do not allow the construction of infrastructure on beaches and islands.
  • But the Blue Flag certification requires the beaches to create infrastructures like portable toilet blocks, greywater treatment plants, a solar power plant, seating facilities, CCTV surveillance.
  • Hence,the government has notified that construction activities and facilities shall be permitted in the CRZs including Islands for the purpose of Blue Flag Certification in beaches.
  • However,these activities are subject to maintaining a minimum distance of 10 meters from the High Tide Line (HTL).

About Blue flag certification:

  • The Blue flag certification is an international recognition conferred on beaches that meet certain criteria of cleanliness and environmental propriety.
  • The certification programme is run by international, non-governmental, non-profit organisation FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education).
  • The certification is based on 33 stringent criteria in four major heads (i) Environmental Education and Information (ii) Bathing Water Quality, (iii) Environment Management and Conservation and (iv) Safety and Services in the beaches.
  • The Union Environment Ministry has selected 13 beaches in India to compete for the ‘Blue Flag’ certification.
  • Further,Spain has the highest number of Blue Flag beaches followed by, Greece and France.Japan and South Korea are the only countries in Asia to have Blue Flag beaches.