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With no tourists, shack operators wind up businesses

NT network


Almost 80 per cent of shacks in the coastal area of Baga-Sinquerim have been dismantled with owners seeing no hope of tourism activity restarting due to lockdown restrictions.

Anthony Fernandes, a shack owner from Candolim, told this daily that “the tourist season was already bad for the last 3-4 months and the lockdown imposed due to coronavirus only added to the run of the bad season.”

“British charter flights, which are scheduled on April 8, 10 and 12, will take remaining foreign tourists stranded in Candolim and the lockdown could be extended, thus leaving no scope for any business,” he added.

John Lobo, secretary of Shack Owners Welfare Society, when contacted, also voiced similar views.

“Due to poor business at the start of the season we had hoped of doing some business in summer banking on domestic tourists and offset our losses, but the COVID-19 was like rubbing salt on our wounds,” he said.

The shack union will be writing to the government seeking relief to the shack owners who have paid huge sums of money in terms of shack fees, excise duty etc.

“In the past, we had written to the government but we did not receive any help during the cyclone that struck Goa or the high-tide phenomenon that left shacks damaged,” it was stated.

Shack owners are helping their workers in terms of provision of food and shelter and with no hope of any business in the coming days, they have asked their workers to dismantle the shacks before they leave for their native states.

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