Over a month into tourist season, shacks yet to be operational

The shack owners having lost out on business for more than a month since the new tourism season started in the state, might now lose out for some more time if they have not built their shacks as per the laid down norms, as the government has made it clear that only those shacks that have been built as per specifications would get licence.

While the permitted number of shacks has come up on the Calangute beach, almost all of them are unoperational as the tourism department is yet to give the final nod for operation of the shacks. Some of the shack owners said that they have complied with the requirements and are waiting for permissions to carry on their business.

The Deputy Director of Tourism, Ms Pamela Mascarenhas, told The Navhind Times that her department officials were already carrying out the inspection of the shacks that were ready and have sought the department’s nod for operation.

Ms Mascarenhas said that only those shacks that have been built as per the specifications laid down by the government would be permitted to carry on with the business and others that have deviated would have to rectify the wrongs to get the approval. She also said that only five deck beds, as approved in the policy, would be allowed per shack.

A visit to Calangute revealed that most of the shacks are ready but since the permissions are yet to be issued, their owners have been forced not to put them to use. Some shack owners said that they had already hired staff and had to take care of them (pay their salaries).

While many shacks are ready for operation in Baga and Candolim, some are still being built and expected to be completed within the next few days, according to their owners. Most of the shacks looked almost identical, whether in Calangute, Candolim or Baga. Most of the owners have brought in just five deck beds while some had more.

The presence of police has kept away from the beaches Lamanis and other hawkers, who have found new ways to beat the police. Dressed in salwar-kameez, the Lamanis could still be moving on the beaches and at least one of them was seen catering to some foreign clients at Calangute.

The police deployed on beaches said that they apprehended one Lamani/hawker on Sunday but others have been evading them. They also said that they had a tough time while dealing with rough elements, especially those violating the law by smoking on beaches, which was prohibited under law. Besides, a few cattle and stray dogs were the other hazards that have been troubling the tourists on beaches. [NT]