Govt urged to apply for ‘Blue flag’ certification of Miramar beach

Panjim: As Goa has failed to prepare the Miramar beach for the Blue Flag Certification, more than 20 months after it was nominated, the Central government appointed agency has urged the State to explore possibility of applying for Blue flag beach without undertaking BEAMS programme as most of the facilities in Miramar beach already exist.

Miramar beach was amongst the 13 beaches across country nominated last year for Blue Flag Certification by the Union Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC). Goa is the only State that has failed to prepare the beach for the certification due to the opposition.
The main objective of BEAMS programme is to reduce pollutants, promote sustainable development and strive for high standards in the areas of (i) environmental management (ii) environmental education (iii) bathing water quality (iv) safety & security services scientifically.

During a recent meeting held to review the progress of Blue Flag beaches, the project consultant- Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) informed and requested BMC-Chairman, Goa to explore possibility of applying for Blue flag beach without undertaking BEAMS program as most of the facilities in Miramar beach already exist.

As per the minutes of the meeting, SICOM also said that in case the blue flag application is rejected by National/International Jury then some of the gaps can be fulfilled through BEAMS interventions.

The Bombay High Court at Goa in October had issued notice to MoEF&CC with regards to its notification selecting Miramar beach for the certification, an international recognition conferred on beaches to conserve, protect and improve coastal environment.

Miramar beach was nominated for the Certification in February 2018. However, the same has been opposed by fishing community stating that the move aims at privatizing of the beach, thereby affecting their livelihood. State has already lost one year, of the total two years granted by Centre to provide the support for preparing the beach for certification. [H]