Goa News


Coastal body now in eye of storm

Coastal body now in eye of storm

06 Dec 2017 No comment 13 hits

Colva: After the cyclonic storm Ockhi has blown over, aggrieved shackowners and government authorities are locked in a blame game over issues over the location of shacks closer to the sea and the inadequacy of the warning issued to the stakeholders.

While the affected shack owners are desperately trying to get back into seasonal business, a lot of ill-feeling seems to have been created between the owners, tourism department and the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA).

The main contention of the shack owners is that the coastal authority, GCZMA, for the first time since the inception of shacks, brought them closer to the high tide line.

Shack owner Pramod Naik, who commenced operations of his shack, said, "Though the tidal movement was phenomenal, our losses could have been less if the department and the coastal authority did not push us towards the sea."

He added that he lost chairs, tables, an umbrella and beach beds which were washed away as his shack was brought closer to the sea.

"Secondly, we had to be alerted but nobody - none of the authorities bothered to warn us about the approaching cyclone. The tourism department collects fees every year, hikes the fees also and hence should have been concerned about us."

Cosme Dias, who runs a shack at Varca beach, also has a similar story. Pointing to a spot he says, "Till last year the shack was almost five meters on the landward side, but this time the coastal protection agency accompanied by tourism officials demarcated the spot here. Now, we have faced the brunt of the sea."

Tourism director Menino D'Sousa says shack owners are given demarcation by the coastal authority as per the shack policy.

"Earlier, they used to erect wherever they wanted to, which cannot be allowed because of sand dunes and vegetation. CRZ takes everything into consideration and then demarcates," he said. "Once you are near the sea, such things are bound to happen,"D'Sousa added.

GCZMA director Parag Nagarsekar said, "Allocation of shacks is not done by us. We just approve it at the location identified by the tourism department. We just approve the number of shacks." He said the loss accrued by the shack owners cannot be attributed to his department.

Shack owner Edwin Barreto said, "Compensation is one aspect, but I would like to know about government plans to save the coastline. Shacks are temporary, but the government should have measures to stop erosion and degradation of the coastline."

President, shack owners welfare society, Cruz Cardozo maintains that the coastal authority is responsible for bringing the shacks closer to the shore. "At the time of demarcation, the coastal authority was showing us the location and not the department. Now, they should accept the blame. The tourism department also sends GCZMA many notices to be present during the site inspection."

Get latest news & live updates on the go on your pc with News App. Download The Times of India news app for your device.

Source: Coastal body now in eye of storm

Pin It

Add comment


Security code