Delay in NOCs irks Calangute shack owners

This delay has gone really far. The government will have to face these very people in the next elections

The Calangute panchayat on Saturday decided to defer its decision to issue licences to beach shack operators within its jurisdiction till November 8, when the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) is expected to approve the new beach shack policy. Shack owners said that failure to announce the policy by then will likely lead to a ‘Calangute bandh’.

Earlier this week, the panchayat had adopted a resolution to give shack operators licences if the tourism department failed to issue NOCs to them by Friday.

On Saturday morning, agitated beach shack owners called on the sarpanch, Anny Fernandes, and deputy sarpanch, Joseph Sequeira, to inquire about the licenses. Sequeira explained that following legal advice, they have decided to defer the decision.

 “If we issue licences, the licence holder will have to approach the electricity department for power connections and the excise department for an excise licences, which won’t be given until an NOC from the tourism department is procured,” he explained to the shack owners.
Operators have now decided to wait till November 8, following which they will decide their future course of action. While some wanted to begin erecting their shacks to save time, a section of the shack owners advised restraint as the tourism department could demolish any unauthorized structure, causing huge losses to the owner.
There is also unrest among shack owners over the GCZMA’s decision to survey the beaches in a bid to demarcate plots used by shacks, as many have begun operating private shacks sans any approvals. Besides private shacks, many traditional beach shack owners have also started placing beach beds to cater to the large number of tourists.