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Ahead of tourist season, beach shacks' fate hangs in balance

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Press Trust of India Panaji
Even as Goa's tourism season is set to begin from October, the beach shack owners in the state are worried about their business, which is hanging in the balance after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) recently stayed the state beach shack policy.
The shack owners have moved the Bombay High Court at Goa, seeking to vacate NGT's stay on the beach shack policy.
The NGT had on September 14 stayed the Goa Tourism Department's shack policy as the state failed to submit its Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) before it.
Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), an umbrella organisation of the tour operators, said Goa's tourist season will start from October 4 when the first chartered flight will land in the state from Russia.
"The flight will arrive at Dabolim international airport at 6.30 pm," it said in a statement issued here.
However, although the foreign tourists are set to arrive in the state, the beach shacks, the main attraction of the travellers, will not be set up by that time due to the ban on the policy.
"The shack owners have moved the high court, pleading to vacate the stay granted to the shack policy by the NGT. The case would be heard on the coming Monday," Manuel Cardoso, general secretary of Goa Traditional Shack Owners' Association (GTSOA) said.
He said the fate of around 365 shacks across the 105- km long stretch of Goa's beaches is hanging in the balance.
"We are expecting that the high court will stay the NGT order so that we can start constructing the shacks," he said.
Shacks are temporary structures, which serve as restaurants and bars with sunbeds on the sand. Tourists can even stay there overnight. These structures are dismantled during the monsoon season only to be reconstructed in October when the tourist season starts.
President of the Shack Owners' Welfare Society, Cruz Cardoso, said, "We cannot blame the state government as the shack policy was already in place much...We hope that the high court will give us respite."

During the last tourist season, 292 chartered flights had arrived in Goa from Russia.

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First Published: Sep 28 2019 | 3:55 PM IST

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