Goa’s beach shacks hit snag over NGT directive

Panaji, Sep 13 (IANS) Goa’s welcoming beach shacks might not be around to facilitate tourists when the tourism season begins next month, with the National Green Tribunal on Friday directing the state government to keep its beach shack policy on hold, until it submits the mandatory Coastal Zone Management plan.

The state government was scheduled to submit the plan on August 31 this year, but it has prayed before the NGT for six more months to complete the formalities necessary for the formulation of the plan.

The Coastal Zone Management plan formally demarcates the coastal areas into commercial, environment and no development zones.

“We have not read the copy of the order yet, but the delay will affect our livelihood,” president of the All Goa Shack Owners Association Cruz Cardozo told IANS on Friday.

Goa’s shacks are synonymous with Goa’s beaches and have to be disbanded with the onset of monsoon every year. Every year before the commencement of the tourism season in March, the state Tourism Ministry conducts a lottery for allotment of beach shacks. The shacks are mandatorily dismantled ahead of the rainy season on May 31.

On August 31 this year, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant-led cabinet gave its nod to the beach shack policy to set up over 350 beach shacks along Goa’s 105 km-long coastline, which is dotted with popular beaches.

The state government has assured that it will take adequate steps to ensure that there is minimum delay in the allotment of beach shacks.

“The government will petition the NGT that the shacks are not permanent structures and are temporary only for the season. The Coastal Zone Management policy will be finalised by November and submitted before the Tribunal,” Goa Port Minister Michael Lobo said.



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