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Delay on horizon for allotment of shacks – Times of India

Panaji: The Beach Shack Policy, 2023-2026, was approved last Friday but the tourism department is yet to invite applications for setting up shacks.
The department usually calls for applications as soon as the policy is cleared.
Shacks may come up in the second half of October if the allotment is completed in the next 15 to 20 days.
“It looks like the allotment will be delayed but I will still request the tourism department to complete the process without further delays,” Cruz Cardozo, the president of Shack Owners Welfare Society (SOWS), told TOI.
As it is, shack operators are upset about the age criterion introduced in the policy that makes candidates above 60 ineligible to apply for shacks.
Cardozo said if this condition is applied, more than 50% of SOWS members will be disqualified.
“This is unfair, we will see to it that the clause is dropped,” said Cardozo.
The representatives of SOWS are scheduled to meet tourism minister Rohan Khaunte on Thursday to discuss the matter.
Khaunte has also convened a meeting on Thursdaywith the coastal MLAs to discuss the future of tourism and the shack policy.
If the government agrees to drop the age condition, the beach shack policy will need to be tweaked, and it may take a few more days to get it done.
Cardozo said that since next week is Ganesh Chaturthi, further progress in the matter does not appear imminent.
Once applications are received, their scrutiny takes a week, and then the department draws lots, and allottees are selected.
Even after allottees pay the stipulated fees, they cannot set up shacks until the tourism department officials mark areas on beaches. “We will do our best to complete the process as early as possible, but operators should not delay it on frivolous grounds,” a tourism department official said.

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