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Monday, 29 June, 2020, 14 : 00 PM [IST]

8 Maharashtra beaches to get Goa-style shacks

Eight popular beaches in four coastal districts of Maharashtra may soon have beach shacks, like the neighbouring state of Goa, with the Maharashtra Cabinet on Thursday clearing the policy to promote tourism, reports Surendra Gagan in Hindustan Times.

The Cabinet also gave a go-ahead to a proposal to monetise two land parcels and five resorts owned by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC).

The beaches selected for setting up shacks are Guhagar and Aareware in Ratnagiri; Kunakeshwar and Tarkarli in Sindhudurg; Varsoli and Diveagar in Raigad; and Kelwa and Bordi in Palghar. Each of these beaches will have a maximum of 10 shacks of the permitted size of 15ftx15ft with a 20ftx15ft shade in front of it.

Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray, who thanked the Cabinet for clearing his department’s proposals, tweeted, “8 beaches in Maharashtra have been approved for eco-friendly beach shacks. This will be a major tourist facility. 80% employment to locals is a must.”

Transport Minister Anil Parab said the preference to set up the shacks will be given to the local people. “Since there cannot be permanent structures coming up due to coastal regulations, we are allowing these temporary structure with licences for three years,” he said.

Shacks can only come up in areas approved by the Tourism Directorate with permits from the State Coastal Area Management Authority, a statement issued by the government stated.

The shacks can operate between 7am and 7pm and will have to follow certain restrictions. They will also have to install CCTV cameras, the statement said.

Of the MTDC-run resorts which will be given on lease are located at Ganpatipule, Matheran, Mahabaleshwar, Harihareshwar, Mithbaon in the first phase. Besides the resorts, huge land parcels at Tadoba national park and Fardapur in Aurangabad are also up for grabs to private players for tourism facilities. The open land at these two places is more than 5 hectares, and the lease will be based on the interest shown by private companies.

The resorts and open land will be given on 90-years lease, and rent and premium will be decided as per the existing norms issued by the high-power committee headed by the Chief Secretary.

On the decision to lease out MTDC properties to private players, Thackeray tweeted, “This will help the state with increased revenue and most importantly build a world class tourism hospitality sector in Maharashtra with partnerships with the best hotel brands in the world.”

“Land monetisation will generate employment, increase tourism footfall and revenue to the state government. The allotment will be on lease rent or through joint venture or management contracts between MTDC and private companies,” said an official from the tourism department.

MTDC has already leased out 23 of its resorts and manages 27 of them at prime tourism spots, including five for which the decision was taken on Thursday. The resort in Ganpatipule has more than 100 suites and rooms, while Harihareshwar resort has the capacity of 30 rooms with high occupancy rate. (Source: Hindustan Times)

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