Shack owners take to streets in city over new policy

The members of Shack Owners Welfare Society-Goa came out on the streets in the Panaji city in protest against the new policy for beach shacks, particularly, on the issues of size, number of shacks, deck beds, music and others.

Addressing the media, the president of Shack Owners Welfare Society, Mr Cruz Cardozo,  stated that the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar had assured to look into their grievances in the presence of the MLA from Calangute, Mr Michael Lobo, the former sarpanch of Calangute, Mr Joseph Sequeira and the Tourism Minister, Mr Dilip Parulekar, and added that but he just did the opposite on the size of the shacks, number of deck beds, and number of shacks.
They demanded immediate withdrawal of new policy on shacks and pointed out that the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) has given wrong feedback without any physical inspection and verification of the Baga, Calangute and Sinquerim beaches.
They further demanded that the present shack policy for season 2012-13 should be withdrawn and added that a favourable solution should be worked out
They stated that earlier government was allowing them extra beds, bigger size of shacks and many things.
Mr Cardozo said if the BJP-led government has no intention to increase the number of shacks then it should at least maintain the same number of shacks and size of shacks.
They then met the deputy director of Tourism, Mr Hanumant Parsekar, who assured them to look into their genuine grievances and redress them as early as possible after consulting higher ups and promised them that he would not sell the shack forms as per the shack owners wish.
Mr Cardozo said they also met MLA, Mr Franciso ‘Mickky’ Pacheco  and MLA Mr Caetano Silva at their offices and added that they  have assured them all possible help in finding an amicable solution to their problems.
Earlier, they gathered near the Panaji church and displayed placards expressing their displeasure over the new policy on shacks; they  wanted to meet the Chief Minister, but when they realized that he was out of station, they marched towards the tourism department and submitted a memorandum to the deputy director of tourism.
They withdrew their agitation only when Mr Lobo conveyed to them the message from the Chief Minister, who is in Delhi to attend the BJP function, that once he arrives in state he would formulate the policy as per shack owners’ whims and wishes. [NT]