PANAJI: Eleven shacks in Utorda-Majorda beach belt found to have violated Section 5 of the Environment Protection Act together with some other illegalities were on Wednesday shut down by the tourism department.
Tourism director Ameya Abhayankar told The Navhind Times that the department along with Goa State Pollution Control Board and the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority had conducted an inspection of the shacks in the first week of January after it was found that they were violating various norms.
The common violation by the shack owners was that they were discharging waste water from the kitchen as well as sewage in a pit dug on the beach. There was no provision for soak pit. The shack owners were given a week’s time to take remedial measures and comply with the directions of the authorities, but they failed, prompting the tourism department to act against them.
The erring shack owners were on Tuesday served with the notices and the tourism department authorities ensured closure of the shacks on Wednesday.
Owner of Beach Home shack Glenn D’Souza, representing the shack owners, said that at 11 a.m. on Wednesday the tourism department officials with cops, who had been instructed to stop all activities of the 11 shacks, removed deck beds, umbrellas, and restaurant chairs.
The illegalities had come to the notice of GSPCB chairman Jose Manuel Noronha through a complaint by a resident that sewage was seeping out of the shacks.
In another development, the National Green Tribunal has directed the tourism department toserve notices to the shack owners and to stop all beach activities as they have violated CRZ norms.
The action by the tourism department has left us with no alternative but to sulk, even after paying all the relevant fees, D’Souza rued.