Versova to get Goa-like beach shacks as Maharashtra gets ready to implement beach shacks policy
In a bid to boost tourism, the Maharashtra Government is planning Goa-like beach shacks at Versova, partnering with portals like Airbnb and looking to increase connectivity between popular tourism spots in the state.
The moves comes in the wake of the Union Road Transport Ministry’s decision to develop the tourism circuit along the 720-km long coast in Maharashtra. The ministry is currently developing the Rs 10,000 crore Mumbai-Goa coastal road project.
Minister of State for Tourism Madan Yerawar said the government also intends to use the 1,600 hectares of land bank with the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) to raise funds for providing facilities at MTDC guest houses in the state.
“Tourism is the only industry that not only generates revenue but also provides gainful employment,” the minister told reporters on the eve of World Tourism day.
Considering the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) regulations that prevent construction activity on the beaches owned by Rural Development, Urban Development, Tourism and Revenue departments, the government is planning to implement beach shacks policy that is in vogue in neighbouring Goa, Yerawar said.
“The government intends to implement the Beach Shacks policy on the MTDC plot at Versova beach. The government will put up signages along major road networks informing travellers about nearby tourist attractions,” he said.
Apart from Mumbai, shacks may come up in beaches in other Konkan regions like Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg once the policy is approved by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Additionally, CCTV cameras will be installed at various spots and flying squads will patrol the area to ensure adequate security.
Commenting on the coastal tourism circuit, he said the Detailed Project Report (DPR) is ready.
“Under the project, the state government will develop 60 road linkages to temples, beaches and forts along the main Mumbai-Goa coastal road,” the minister said.
Referring to the 1,600 hectares of land bank lying with the MTDC, Yerawar said the land parcel will be used to raise funds for maintenance of the MTDC guest houses and for providing better hospitality services.
The state is also looking at partnering with online portals that offer supplementary services.
“The government will sign up agreements with Airbnb (online brokerage lodging and rental portal), private online fleet taxis like Ola and Uber which will provide employment and services to tourists and people alike,” he said.
The government is also working with online travel and ticketing portal Make My Trip, who is developing tiger reserve circuit in the Vidharbha region of the state, he added.
With PTI inputs