Fragile coastline, tourism activities keep businessmen busy

While shack owners are aggrieved by the unprecedented swell of the tide into their shacks with disastrous consequences, they have blamed the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority(GCZMA) for not heeding their request to locate them on higher ground.

Most temporary structures catering to a sizeable section of tourists have been affected by the upheaval caused by a very severe cyclone Ockhi during the last two days.

“If only the GCZMA had heeded to our demand to locate the shacks slightly higher on the beach, we would have been spared these huge losses,” said Cruz Cardozo, president of shack owners welfare association.

 Shack owners along the coastal belt estimate that their losses could run into lakhs of rupees, even as the issue of a safer location has been raked up in the past.

But, GCZMA officials said that the shacks had been shifted closer to the water line as the beach is shrinking. “This has been thought of due to trampling of sand dune areas. There should be adequate distance between sand dunes and shacks, so that dune formation is not affected,” an official said.

“On Sunday, it was supposed to be the lowest of the low tide and water level should have been 20 metres lower this time. But, the sea is as rough as in the monsoon and the water rose as if at high tide,” a local fisherman told TOI.