The much-awaited Blue Flag at Rushikonda Beach in Vizag is all set to be hoisted on 28 December at 11:20 AM. Along with Vizag’s Rushikonda Beach, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) will e-hoist the coveted Blue Flags at seven other shortlisted beaches across the country.
The event is scheduled to begin at 11 AM with a welcome address by Additional Secretary (MoEF&CC), Ravi S Prasad (IAS), followed by the special address of Secretary (MoEF&CC), RP Gupta (IAS). At 11:10 AM, the e-catalogue of the Blue Flag is scheduled to be launched by Union Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar. The flag will be hoisted simultaneously at all the beaches at 11:20 AM. While Mr Javadekar is all set to do the honours online, Andhra Pradesh Tourism Minister, Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao will physically hoist the Blue Flag at Rushikonda Beach in Vizag.
Andhra Pradesh Agriculture, Horticulture, and Co-operation Minister and Visakhapatnam District Incharge Minister, Kurasula Kannababu will grace the flag hoisting ceremony. Rajya Sabha Member, Vijayasai Reddy, Madugula MLA, Budi Muthyala Naidu, APTA Chief Executive Officer, Pravin Kumar (IAS), Visakhapatnam District Collector, V Vinay Chand (IAS), GVMC Commissioner, G Srijana (IAS), VMRDA Commissioner, P Koteswara Rao (IAS), and Visakhapatnam Commissioner of Police, Maneesh Kumar Sinha (IPS) will be present at the event.
It may be recalled that earlier in October, eight beaches were conferred with the ‘Blue Flag’ certification given by the Denmark-based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). In order to receive the label, beaches have to fulfill 33 criteria in four categories (Environmental Education and Information, Water Quality, Environmental Management, and Safety and Services). It is to be noted that Rushikonda Beach in Vizag is the only one beach in the state, which was selected by the Union government, for the development to match international standards, under the BEAMS (Beach Environment and Aesthetics Management Services) project.