Karaikal, Feb 7 (PTI) A Central team of experts today visited Karaikal to assess the suitability of the Emerald beach in the town for obtaining the ‘Blue Flag certification.’

Blue Flag is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education, Denmark, an internationally acclaimed NGO, that a beach, marina or sustainable boating tourism operator meets its stringent standards.

The experts were drawn from the Ministries of Science and Technology and Environment and Forests.

The standards include cleanliness, water quality, safety, environmental education and information, and general environmental management, officials said.

With a view to enhancing the standards of cleanliness in Indian beaches, the centre has proposed to improve the amenities in 10 beaches across 10 states in the country and obtain Blue Flag certification, they said.

The Emerald beach is one among the beaches being assessed for suitability to be included among the 10 beaches.

The team, led by Dr Salish Lodia from the Department of Science and Technology, carried out soil testing in the beach area.

Addressing a review meeting with Karaikal District Collector R Kesavan, the team explained the amenities to be developed in the beach to qualify for Blue Flag certification.

They said the criteria requires that the beach area should not be affected by industrial, waste-water, or sewage-related discharge.

Amenities to be provided in the beach include change rooms, separate spaces for walking, jogging and yoga, toilets, emergency medical assistance facilities and first-aid centres.

A panel named beach management committee should be formed under the district collector for sustained management of the beach.

Lodia said the team would submit its report about the beach to the Centre.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.