PANAJI: With the State Tourism Department extending deadline for submitting the applications for erection of beach shacks, deck beds, umbrellas to October 30, it is now clear that beach shacks, the main tourist attraction, will take more time to come up along the coastal belts.
The applications will be accepted till 1 pm on Oct 30. Oct 27 was the last date for submission of applications as per the previously issued public notice.
Shack operators and other stakeholders have been expressing concern over the inordinate delay in beach shack allocations even a month after full-fledged commencement of the tourist season in Goa.
Beach shacks, constructed using eco-friendly materials such as bamboo, wooden poles, and thatched palm leaves, have become a favorite attraction for both domestic and international tourists in the coastal state.
What’s unique this time is that the environment department is responsible for the site allocation, a role previously held by the tourism department.
The tourism department has already granted licenses for 359 beach shacks, but the installation process is at a standstill, as confirmed by a senior tourism department official.
He explained, “The tourism department is prepared to proceed with the allocation in accordance with the beach shack policy. However, there is a certain level of confusion arising from the involvement of the state environment department, which now determines the shack locations based on the beach’s capacity.”
The lotteries will be put in the first week of November before the shacks are finally allotted to the operators. While the small shacks are expected to take shape and start operations around November 10, the bigger ones may see light of the day around November 12-15.
Cavelossim-based beach shack operator and President of All Goa Shack Owners Society, Cruz Cardozo was clear in saying that this is the first time in recent years that the beach shacks will commence businss around mid-November.
“Many of our regular customers, who used to celebrate Dussehra at the beach shacks with families, called us up to find out the ground reality. We were left with no option than to convey the message that the beach shacks are heading for a delayed start this season”, he said.
Goa government made it mandatory for beach shacks to serve Goan cuisine. On September 15, the Goa government made it mandatory for all beach shacks to serve local cuisine apart from Chinese and fast foods they primarily serve.
State Tourism Minister, Rohan Khaunte had held a meeting with shack owners and mentioned that he has been receiving complaints of Goan cuisine not being served at beach shacks.