There is a huge commotion over the issuance of the licenses for the shacks in the state from various agencies and the recent announcement made by the CM that no more permissions will be issued to the shacks until Coastal Zone Management Plan is submitted to the center has created a disconnect amongst the shack owners. In the meantime, the president of TTAG has issued a statement that the shacks are creating problems for the tourists and hence the numbers need to be truncated.
Speaking to HCN over the phone, the President of Travel & Tourism Association of Goa Savio Messias said that the beach shack delay will not affect the tourism sector of Goa. He said that shack owners who are part of the association, could get their licenses, but not the private shack owners. He further added that these shacks, especially in North Goa, are creating a lot of confusion thanks to loud music being played, late into the night, prostitution, gambling, drugs and lots of complaints in general.
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He further added that beaches should be free and people should have plenty of places to roam around on the beaches. He also pointed out that beach shacks were really not required and there were many restaurants around to cater to the needs of the tourists and visitors.
Messias informed that many countries have stopped having shacks on the beach, as beaches are meant for people to move about freely, without obstruction. He is of the opinion that if the Government was keen on supporting the shack owners, they would have to look into this matter and see how it could be solved, But he also added that licenses can be issued and there shouldn’t be a delay in issuing licenses to shack owners.
Meanwhile, the Goa’s beach shack owners have demanded an increase in the number of shacks, while also urging the state government to create a separate policy for traditional shack owners, Cruz Cardozo, President of the Goa Shack Owners Welfare Society said on Saturday. Cardozo said after a meeting of the Association’s members on Saturday that License to shacks must be given soon as possible.
“There are 364 shack licenses allotted on a lottery basis every year. The Association has passed a resolution that more shacks should be allowed on Goa’s beaches as per the carrying capacity of every beach,” Cardozo said.
Goa’s shacks have to be disbanded with the onset of monsoons every year. The shacks are mandatorily dismantled ahead of the rainy season on May 31.
Every year before the commencement of the tourism season in March, the state tourism ministry conducts a lottery for allotment of beach shacks.
Cardozo said, in the interest of beach shack owners who have been running beach hospitality operations from the 1980s, should be included in a separate category, which is not a part of the annual lottery system.
“They have been running shacks for decades. We have passed a resolution that old-timers in the shack industry should be spared the lottery system. Let the newcomers to the industry participate in the lotteries,” Cardozo said.
The allotment of shack licenses is likely to be delayed due to the formulation of the CZMP.