The Blue Flag Programme for beaches and marinas is run by the international, non-governmental, non-profit organisation FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education). The Blue Flag Programme started in France in 1985. It has been implemented in Europe since 1987 and in areas outside of Europe since 2001, when South Africa joined. Today, Blue Flag has become a truly global Programme, with an ever-increasing number of countries participating in it.
The Blue Flag Programme promotes sustainable development in freshwater and marine areas. It challenges local authorities and beach operators to achieve high standards in the four categories of: water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety. Over the years, the Blue Flag has become a highly respected and recognized eco-label working to bring together the tourism and environmental sectors at local, regional and national levels.
During the meeting held on 27th June 2017 at New Delhi, under the Chairmanship of Secretary, MoEF&CC, all the Coastal States have been requested to identify one beach which they would take up for cleaning and to obtain Blue Flag Certification to be accorded by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). The beach must comply with the following 33 Blue Flag Criteria in order to be awarded Blue Flag accreditation.
Accordingly, Kovalam Beach, Chengalpattu has been chosen to develop, as per the principles of the Blue Flag Beach Programme in Tamil Nadu, as a pilot project as it meets the water quality & safety criteria. Further, the works commenced in January 2020 and now, the Kovalam Beach, Chengalpattu has been selected as the 9th beach in India was awarded the prestigious Blue Flag Certification on 21.09.2021.
The Beach Management Committee (BMC) has been constituted on 23.12.2019 under the chairmanship of District collector, Chengalpattu for monitoring and supervising the BEAMS programme at Kovalam Beach and the Additional Director and Project Director of ICZM Project, Department of Environment is the Nodal officer (Administration).
The periodical monitoring of the bathing water quality testing for Kovalam Beach, Chenagalpattu is conducted by NCSCM, MoEF&CC, GoI. The standards of cleanliness in the bathing zone and the test parameters of Intestinal Enterococci is 56 colony forming units (cfu)/100ml (Acceptable limit is 100 cfu/100ml) and Escherichia Coli count is 62 cfu/100ml (Acceptable limit is 250 cfu/100ml) as on September 2021.
The major activities that have been carried out at Kovalam Beach for Blue Flag Certification are pollution Abatement and Safety surveillance Services for maintaining the beach at clean and hygienic nature and the beach is facilitated for the visitors which includes, safety swimming zone area, shower and change area, drinking water facility, outdoor fitness equipments, children play area, reclining bamboo lounger chairs, hammocks, sit out umbrellas, toilet blocks, bamboo made litter bins and Amphibious wheelchair for the differently abled who can swim in the bathing zone safely. Further, for ensuring the safety of the visitors 4 CCTV cameras have been installed for surveillance and lifeguards stationed at the watchtower for any emergency call; the first aid center caters to the immediate medical care for the visitors including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
The beach is open for visitors from 6 AM to 6 PM and the best bathing season for Kovalam Beach starts every year from January and ends in September.
View of Kovalam Beach, Chengalpattu
View of Kovalam Beach, Chengalpattu
Children play area
Beach Layout Map & Watchtower
Amphibious Wheel Chair- for Physically disabled person