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Unregistered tourism activities in State under scanner; to face action: Tourism Director Nikhil Dessai



Panaji, Tourism Director Nikhil Dessai on Thursday warned that his department would take strict action against all the non-registered tourism activities and would stop all illegal tourism activities, while no political intervention and pressure would be tolerated.

Dessai was speaking in the presence of Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte during a meeting with tourism stakeholders and elected representatives in Canacona.

Khaunte sought to know the number shacks and huts operated by All Goa Private Property Shacks and Huts Owners Association (AGPPSHOA) in Canacona and the number of tourism hotels and resorts registered with the department.

AGPPSHOA President Dharmesh Saglani replied about 200 persons operate tourism huts and rooms and almost all have registered with the tourism department.

A tourism official, however, informed the minister that till Wednesday, only 30 applicants/stakeholders had registered with the department from Canacona.

Khaunte then informed to the AGPPSHOA president and members present at the meet that only 30 have registered with the department.

Director of Tourism Nikhil Dessai then took over from the minister and pointed out that registration of tourism trade especially shacks is a mandatory exercise.

“We will take strict action against all the non-registered tourism activities. On Wednesday, we have issued notices to many violators and we will continue to take action against all such activities in the days to come.”

“Registration with the tourism department is compulsory and no political pressure or intervention will be entertained in this context whatsoever,” Dessai told bluntly all shack and hut owners in the presence of Khaunte.

Dessai went on to explain how the department has eased the registration procedure to just two-three documents.

Realising that AGPPSHOA members were caught on the wrong foot, Saglani made a fervent appeal to all the present AGPPSHOA members to register their property with the tourism department.

Earlier, during an interaction with Khaunte, Saglani put forth five demands of private property shacks and huts owners.

Saglani said members of AGPPSHOA have been hit by various difficulties and wanted the department to support them in their trade.

Fearing that the Mopa Airport would kill tourism trade in Canacona Taluka, Saglani suggested a few steps including dropping the tourists arriving at Mopa airport right up to Margao to facilitate the tourism stakeholders in Canacona.

Saglani also sought facilitate extension/renewal (issued for 5 years,) of CRZ permits without going through the entire process/formalities.

Stating as many as 24 different NOCs/permits are needed are required from CRZ to Weights and Measures which could take as long as 6 months, Saglani demanded a single-window system to issue all permits.

Nandip Bhagat said the government should quickly resolve to solve the parking woes especially at Palolem, facilitate door-to-door garbage collection facilities at Agonda, and to ease traffic rush on weekends. Pankaj Naikgaunkar and a few others also spoke at the meeting.