The Maharashtra government has decided to come up with a beach shack policy to promote beach tourism along the coastline, develop the coastal areas, generate revenue and employment. Beach shacks will be temporary sheds, where basic amenities like toilets, furniture, fire cover, first aid kits would be provided by shack owners. To set up a shack, state will allot licenses to the locals. "Shacks will also provide tourists with shower, changing rooms, lockers, food stalls, drinking water facilities, beach safety instruments and a small stall of the tourist information centre," Minister of State for Tourism Madan Yerawar said. "The state government intends to implement a beach shack policy on the lines of neighbouring Goa," he said. "The state has a big coastal area like Tarkarli, Shirola-Velagar, Murud, Dapoli, Ganpatipule, Alibaug, Dive-Agar, Bordi and others which can be developed as tourist spots with coastal amenities and facilities like shacks, umbrella or huts," said Yerawar. A senior official said that various departments are involved in this project. "Home department needs to handle safety and security related issues, cleanliness and garbage disposal needs local urban body that falls under urban development department while village council will be handled by rural development department. "There are health related facilities to provide, collector office, environment department, revenue, maritime board, ports and also excise if liquor is to be served," he said. Yerawar, minister of state for tourism held a meeting with various department officials and discussed the issue today. The minister instructed tourism department officials to frame the policy involving other departments and appoint private consultants if needed. "The minister wants the policy along with the comprehensive beach tourism development plan of the coastal area to be ready in a month to be tabled before the state cabinet meeting to get a final nod," said an official. The state has a 720 km long coastline spread over seven districts -- Mumbai, Mumbai suburban, Palghar, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.
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