The newly unveiled policy also makes toilet facility mandatory
The beach shacks, temporary eateries dotting the State’s 106-km coastline in the upcoming tourist season, will now be under the surveillance of CCTV cameras. The footage should be preserved for 30 days.
The new restriction, along with the provision that makes toilet facilities mandatory, has been part of the Beach Shack Policy 2013 by the State government announced on Sunday.
Shacks are set up predominantly by the locals who are eager to cash in on tourism in Goa, which attracts nearly 2.5 million tourists including around 4 lakh foreign tourists annually.
The policy said that 90 per cent shacks to be allotted to experienced shack operators having minimum three years of experience and 10 per cent to new applicants including those having one and two years of experience.
The policy had remained inconclusive due to lack of consensus among the two associations of shack operators - Shack Owners Welfare Society (Goa) and the Goa Traditional Shack Operators Association.
Earlier, the State Cabinet in its meeting on August 28, had approved a policy of allotting 90 per cent shacks to experienced shack owners, dividing it as 60 per cent to those running it for seven years and above, 20 per cent to those operating between four and six years and 10 per cent to the operators having experience of one to three years. The rest 10 per cent was to be allotted to new applicants.
But the government decided to make changes in the policy following requests made by some shack operators including Calangute MLA of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party Michael Lobo.
The issue of shack allotment becomes contentious as there are many in the queue for this lucrative tourism business. Many of the locals are known to tacitly tie-up with foreigners to run this business, though according to policy no foreigner can get a licence to run a shack. Except these changes, there would be no other changes in the terms and conditions for setting up of shacks/deck beds/umbrellas and other structures.
The government has decided to permit as many as 347 shacks on the government land along the coastline from north to south. While 240 shacks would be allowed in north Goa, the rest would be in south Goa coastline.
The shacks would be permitted to operate for nine months from September to the end of May next year, after which the temporary structure has to be dismantled.
However, there would be no bar on the number of shacks on the private property, along the coastline. For the current tourist season, the shack fee has been hiked by Rs. 5,000.