Panaji, Sep 30 (IANS) In a partial relief to promoters of beach shacks along Goa’s coastline, the Bombay High Court in Goa on Monday allowed the state government to start the formal process of allotment of beach shacks, while also directing the state government to not hand over final allotment letters until the hearing is concluded.
The High Court bench is currently hearing a plea filed by the state government, seeking permission to begin the shack allotment process, which is considered critical to the livelihood of hundreds of vendors, who annually set up temporary shacks serving food and beverages to the hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit the state’s beaches.
The Goa government had approached the High Court, after the National Green Tribunal, earlier this month, slammed the Goa authorities for not keeping to its August 30 deadline, vis-a-vis submission of the draft Coastal Zone Management plan for the state.
The Tribunal had also directed the Goa government not to issue licences for setting up of beach shacks — which are popular with tourists — until submission of the plan document. Licences to operate beach shacks are allotted by the Tourism Department periodically at the commencement of the tourism season in the coastal state.
The Coastal Zone Management plan formally demarcates areas in the coastal areas into commercial, environment and no development zones.
Shacks serving food and drinks, which are synonymous with Goa’s beaches, have to be disbanded with the onset of monsoons every year. The official tourism season of Goa starts on October 1 and winds up on May 31.