New 3-year beach shack policy will commence from next season
Tourism department’s next beach shack policy will be applicable from the next tourism season, starting in October-November, and will be for a period of three years. The current beach shack policy, which remained in operation for three years, concludes at the end of this month.

There has been much anxiety among beach shack operators as to what kind of beach shack policy, the government will form for the next season.

Sanjeev Gauns Dessai, tourism director, told TOI that they will propose a three-year beach shack policy. The policy would be finalized after approval from the government.

It means there will be fresh allotment by August-September, and successful allottees will be given licences with a validity for three years with a rider that shacks should not be operated after the end of the season between June to August which is non-season period.

Around 350 shacks are erected along the 105km coastline of the state, but, maximum allotted along the Calangute-Baga-Candolimstretch.

Beach shack operators, who are into the business for a decade are of the opinion that shacks should be alloted for a longer period as prior to 2012, the validity of the licence issued for beach shacks was always limited to one year.

The 2012-13 beach shack policy had many provisions including CCTV cameras in the shacks. Even at the fag end of the three-year beach shack policy, not many shacks had CCTV cameras installed. Many resisted the move on the ground, that it will add to their cost of operation.

The tourism director said, “From next season onwards, we will be very strict. The liberty granted will not be extended any further”.

There was also a segment of shack operators, who favour yearly allotment of shacks, as it gives a chance to those who are unlucky to get selected in the lottery system. One provision of the beach shack policy that the tourism department has failed to implement is about sub-letting of shacks. Though beach shack policy prohibits sub-letting, it happens nonetheless. A shack operator said depending on the beach, the rent is fixed. In Baga-Calangute stretch, rent for the season can be as high as 3 to 4 lakh.

A tourism official said it is difficult to catch them, and prove the case even though they know that some locals participate in the lottery, not because they want to run shack business but to rent it and make money.