Shack owners welfare society hits back, wants govt to retain beach shack policy

Around 160 shack owners were present at the department of tourism, Panaji, on Friday while the Shack owners welfare society (SOWS) served a legal notice to the director of tourism and chief secretary asking that the beach shack policy 2013-16 be retained and not altered.

The Goan Traditional Shack Owners’ Association (TGTSOA) on Tuesday served a legal notice to the chief secretary and director of tourism, taking objection to the provision made in the beach shack policy 2013-16, for allocation of shacks on the basis of seniority.

Advocate Radharao Gracias, who is representing SOWS, said that the association had suddenly learnt that “a few disgruntled trouble-makers who annually raise irrelevant and capricious objections to the policy have once again issued a notice to the government challenging the new policy on frivolous and malicious grounds with the sole purpose of disrupting the next tourism season”.

In the legal notice, Gracias called upon the director of tourism and chief secretary, ‘not to fall prey to the machinations of frustrated elements and the notice issued by them , by changing or altering the announced policy to meet their unfair demands, failing which , the association, shall be compelled to challenge any change in the policy by filing an appropriate writ petition before the high court at Panaji. Your (government) risk, as to costs and consequences’.

SOWS stated that they are an association formed by traditional shack owners so as to collectively protect their interests and also to provide proper service to guests.

SOWS members, who earlier questioned the credibility of TGTSOA and the use of the word ‘traditional’ in their name, claimed that their rivals were being backed by the hotel lobby who are against the interests of traditional shack owners.

“The government of Goa has announced a new tourism policy for the year 2013-16, which is a well-considered policy and which takes into account various factors, including the earlier high court observations. “The said policy has been generally welcomed in public interest,” said Cruz Cardozo, SOWS president.

Cardozo added that many members of their association have already filed applications for allocation of shacks to them as per the new policy and have deposited the requisite amount.

“Members of our association have already acted on the basis of the just and fair policy announced by the government and shall be put to great hardships and loss in case the new policy is dropped or altered on account of frivolous objections raised by disruptive elements,” said the SOWS president.

TNN | Sep 21, 2013, 03.12AM IST

Link –