Ockhi effect: Owners want Goa govt to rethink over allotting shacks on beaches

Ockhi effect: Owners want Goa govt to rethink over allotting shacks on beaches

The unprecedented high tides due to cyclone Ockhi, that flooded hundreds of beach shacks in Goa, has forced the tourism industry to ask authorities to re-think over allocating beach shacks along the coast.

The shack owners say that they had asked the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) to allocate the shack much above the high tide line, but citing environmental concerns, they were allotted spots right next to the sea.

President of Shack Owners Welfare Society Cruz Cardozo said that Monday night could be a trying time as the state will witness the highest tide, coupled with a full moon and the effect of Ockhi.

"The shack owners had specifically requested the GCZMA not to allot the shacks near the high tide line but a little upwards. But fearing the destruction of sand dunes, the authorities alloted structures right next to the water," Cardozo said.

This despite, he said, the owners specifically mentioning that they would not harm the sand dunes since the structures are elevated on a platform.

"Had the shacks been little upwards, the devastation could have been avoided to a great extent. Almost 80% of the shacks have been affected by the tide," he said.

The beaches of Mobor, Majorda, Cavelossim, Benaulim in South Goa and Arambol, Morjim, Baga, Calangute in North are worst affected, he said.

Goa is currently witnessing peak tourist season which would culminate in December when lakhs of people will descend to usher in the New Year.

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