Goa beach shacks run into trouble over delayed CZM plan

The Goa government has already skipped its deadline of submitting the plan by August 31 and has now sought an extension of six additional months to submit the document. (File Photo for Representation)

In a jolt to Goa's beach tourism prospects this season, the National Green Tribunal on Friday put on hold the process of allocation of shacks on Goa's popular beaches. The tribunal also slammed the state government for not finalising its Coastal Zone Management (CZM) plan within the deadline.

The Goa government has already skipped its deadline of submitting the plan by August 31 and has now sought an extension of six additional months to submit the document.

The NGT, in its order, has said that until the government finalises the plan, the allocation will be put on hold. 

The draft plan is a key document, which demarcates zoning and regulation of the Coastal Regulation Zone, which determines areas where development and construction activity can be carried out and ecologically sensitive areas which are beyond the scope of development.

A draft plan prepared by the Chennai-based National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Zone Management has already been rejected by the state government, citing inaccuracies and sloppy work.

The development comes as a dampener to prospective shack owners, who are allotted temporary beach shack licences every three years, to run popular food and beverage joints on Goa's beaches.

Goa's 350-odd beach shacks cater to nearly eight million tourists who arrive in Goa annually.

The shacks are licenced every tourist season and have to be dismantled with the advent of the monsoons. Goa's formal tourism season begins in October and ends on May 31. 
The possibility of a delay in allocation of shacks this year has alarmed the All Goa Shack Owners Association. "The loss of days, if the shack allocation is delayed, means loss of business for us. I hope the government acts promptly on this issue," president of the Association, Cruz Cardozo told DH.

When contacted for comment Goa's Garbage Management Minister Michael Lobo, who hails from the coastal assembly constituency of Calangute, which is popular for its beaches and has the highest concentration of beach shacks, said that the government was taking steps to address the situation.

"We will file the plan by November end so that the shack owners are not kept hanging. Shacks are temporary and seasonal in nature. This is what we will also apprise the Tribunal of," Lobo said.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get the top news in your inbox
GET IT
Comments (+)