Few takers for shacks on private lands

There are few takers for licences to put up shacks on private properties this year, after the government effected a steep hike in licence fees.

According to Tourism department data, just 40 applications have been received by the department from both North and South Goa, for shacks on private properties over the last 10 days, since the policy was notified.

Only 23 applications were received for shacks on private properties in South Goa. Out of these 12 are for proper shacks, while 11 are for thatched structures.

In North Goa, the response was equally poor with only 17 applications received over the 10-day period. Out of these nine applications are for proper shack structures while eight are for thatched structures.

“With the drop in the fee, we are expecting a better response now,” said an official in the tourism department.

Herald has learnt that shacks operators on private properties are still insisting on a further decrease in the fees and are likely to approach the government again.

The licence fee for private shacks in ‘A’ category areas was originally Rs 40,000 and licence fee for ‘B’ category areas was Rs 25,000.

On Wednesday, the Cabinet agreed to reduce licence fee for ‘A’ category area shacks from Rs 40000 to Rs 20,000, while for ‘B’ category area shacks, the fee was reduced from Rs 25000 to Rs 12500.

The department said that there is no last date for receiving applications for shacks in private properties and persons can approach the department for licenses throughout the season.

This is the first time that licence fees have been imposed on shacks on private properties. Earlier, shacks on private properties paid only Rs 5,000 to the tourism department in addition to other fees levied by the village panchayat, excise department and Food and Drug Administration. [H]