Shacks on Goan beaches unlikely before Nov 10
Shacks on beaches in Goa will not appear before November 10, 2023, assumed Cruz Cardozo, President of Shack Owners' Welfare Society on the premise that the Department of Tourism notice inviting applications for shacks that states allotment for these temporary structures will be held on November 3.
The Department of Tourism notification states that the last date for submission of applications is October 27, 2023.
“This is how the government works. The High Court in its judgment had given direction to issue licenses two months in advance. Once the allotment is done on November 3, the allottees will not only need to put up their structures, but get the other permissions in place,” stated an exasperated Cruz.
The delay, according to sources in the government, was because shacks were shifted from one ward of Candolim to another thus creating an imbalance. After the same was brought to the notice of the Chief Minister, the mistake was rectified.
Cruz Cardozo, President of Shack Owners' Welfare Society
“Why should shack owners from the south suffer if there is a problem in the North? By holding back the allotment, the full industry is going to suffer,” retorted Francis, who ran a shack a few seasons back.
A total of 359 shacks have been earmarked for the 2023-2024 season with 254 for North and 105 for South Goa. “How could the government go ahead with allocation in North if the majority of shacks to be allotted are within the Candolim and Calangute areas,” asked Cardozo.
Nineteen shacks – the highest - have been earmarked for Khobravaddo and Camotimvaddo in North Goa and one shack has been demarcated for Colmar in Colva and Sunset beach in Betalbatim.
With eleven shacks, Khandivaddo in Cavelossim has the highest in South Goa. Twelve shacks have been earmarked for Arambol; eleven in Morjim; and ten in Mandrem.
“It is a pity that the government is taking so long. We expected the shacks to have been allotted latest during the first week of October so that they could be up and running by the second week. This does not speak well of the government's tourism wand,” stated a travel operator on condition of anonymity.
Opinions, however, varied with some tour operators believing that the tourism season will start around the second week of November. “The first charter is expected to arrive around the second week of November and, anyway, there are very few tourists in Goa,” stated one operator.
The Department of Tourism notification, except for Sauntavaddo in Calangute where it has made provisions for three shacks for applicants without experience, has permitted two newcomers in seven wards of Calangute and one in the remaining beaches of Goa.
With most tourists that were on the first flight to Goa, avoiding being on the beach during the day, the delay in allotment, though a definite pinch on those venturing to set up shop, may at the maximum, dent the figure of the department's style of functioning.
“There is nothing we can do but to go along with the tide,” concluded Cardozo.