HC stays Miramar Blue flag certification process
10th October 2019, 03:47 Hrs
the goan I network
The Bombay High Court at Goa has stayed the Central Government’s notification which allowed for setting up facilities at Goa’s Miramar beach within 10 metres from the high tide line for the purpose of blue flag certification.
Hearing a petition by environmental activist Kashinath Shetye, the court stayed the operation of the notification with regard to Miramar beach for a period of four weeks, when the next date of hearing has been finalised.
The Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change in a notification issued on July 12, identified 12 beaches across the country including Miramar beach for the purpose of Blue Flag Certification “in order to conserve, protect and improve the quality of environment and preventing, controlling and abating environmental pollution.”
To secure the certification, the Goa government would have to set up container based toilet blocks, change rooms, shower panels; mini grey water treatment plant enclosed in temporary structures; mini solid waste recycling plants enclosed in temporary structures; solar panels; purified drinking water kiosks, beach access pathway to the bathing zone made of interlocking paver blocks, portable bamboo-made seating benches and sit-out umbrellas; outdoor children play equipment; container-based CCTV control room and first aid station; watch towers and beach information hoarding boards and beach layout map hoarding boards among other facilities.
Shetye in his petition argued that facilities contemplated to be installed at Miramar beach “already existed in the beach and, therefore, to permit the same up to a distance of 10 metres from the HTL was not necessary and if
permitted would result in environmental damage.”
“Operations of the impugned Notification shall remain stayed pertaining to the beach in Miramar,” the High Court bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and MS Sonak ruled.
The Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label awarded to beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators. In order to qualify for the Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained including on water quality for bathing, available facilities as well as safety standards.
Once certified, tourists planning to visit the certified beach can rest assured that the water at the beach will be clean, the bathing zone will be safe and access to the beach will not be hindered.