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Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority Approves Establishment of 364 Beach Shacks with Stringent Environmental Conditions

Discover how the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority has granted approval for 364 beach shacks on Goa's pristine shores while enforcing strict environmental conditions. Explore
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Goa Beach Shack
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In a significant and environmentally-conscious move, the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) has granted its consent for the establishment of 364 beach shacks along the pristine shores of the state. This momentous decision was reached during the 363rd meeting of GCZMA following a comprehensive joint inspection and assessment carried out in partnership with the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB).

The National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) conducted a thorough assessment of the beach-carrying capacity for Goa’s coastline, which led to a recommendation for a total of 1,131 beach shacks. In alignment with these findings, the Department of Tourism has sought permission for 364 beach shacks, a number calculated to ensure adherence to the beach-carrying capacity. The department retains the flexibility to request additional permissions in accordance with NCSCM’s recommendations.

Under the revised shack policy, the allocation of beach shacks will follow a specific distribution: 10% for inexperienced operators and an additional 10% reserved for individuals with 1-4 years of experience, with the majority of the allocation, 80%, designated for operators with five or more years of experience.

The allocation of shacks in North Goa will be categorized into ‘A’ and ‘B’ stretches, with various beach names and the size of each shack clearly specified. Beaches covered by this allocation include Calangute, Candolim, Arambol, Mandrem, Morjim, Ozrant, Anjuna, Vagator, Siridao, and Chapora. In South Goa, beach shack allocations will be made for Majorda, Cavelossim, Colva, Betalbatim, Benaulim, Varca, Zalor, Baina, and Bogmalo beaches.

The GCZMA has set forth a series of conditions attached to this permission to ensure the conservation of the environment and the promotion of sustainable tourism practices along the state’s scenic beaches.

One crucial condition stipulates that the beach shacks must be constructed at a minimum height of one meter above the existing ground level. This elevation not only safeguards the natural terrain but also facilitates effective sewage and sullage management.

Another condition emphasizes the importance of efficient waste disposal by requiring that shack operators construct toilets and kitchens within the shacks at an elevated height of at least 2.5 meters above the ground. This measure is aimed at effectively managing sewage and sullage.

To protect marine life, particularly turtles, the regulations prohibit the placement of beach beds near Morjim beach at Tembwada beach stretch, which is located in a designated turtle nesting area.

As per the conditions set out, beach shack operators are mandated to provide holding tanks with sufficient capacity for sewage and sullage storage. These tanks should maintain a low height, not exceeding one meter, and are preferably of cylindrical or rectangular shape. Proper disposal methods as recommended by the GSPCB must be strictly adhered to.

Furthermore, operators are required to install oil and grease traps to manage effluent originating from the kitchens within the shacks. Compliance with the ‘General Standards for Discharge of Environmental Pollutants’ is obligatory.

For beach shacks situated more than 50 meters from an accessible road, an adequate sewage treatment plant (STP) approved by the GSPCB must be established. The treated water from the STP should meet prescribed standards and be utilized for toilet flushing and in reed beds mounted in above-ground FRP tanks.

Certain beach stretches, such as Morjim and Mandrem, have been designated as silence zones, necessitating strict adherence to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, and the Noise Action Plan. To monitor noise levels, the GSPCB and the tourism department will install an online noise monitoring system, ensuring compliance with permissible limits.

The regulations also prohibit the extraction of groundwater using bore wells for water requirements. Beach shack operators are encouraged to adopt renewable energy sources, particularly solar energy, to promote environmental sustainability.

To ensure safety, all temporary structures must maintain a standard buffer of at least 8 meters between adjacent shacks. Operators are required to adhere to an approved shack design provided by the authorities to ensure uniformity and compliance with safety standards.

Shack operators must obtain the Consent to Establish before erecting their shacks and subsequently acquire the Consent to Operate from the GSPCB under the Water Act and Air Act.”

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