Goa govt makes it mandatory for beach shacks to sell state staple: fish curry–rice
Shack operators are also being asked to take responsibility for denying illegal hawkers and vendors on the beach, who often pass themselves off as shack employees
Shacks on Goa’s beaches will now have to mandatorily serve fish curry–rice, a staple of the coastal state, along with whatever other Indian and international cuisines they may specialise in, says state tourism minister Rohan Khaunte.
The compulsory inclusion of the coconut-based preparation, savoured for its tangy and spicy taste, in the menu is part of the state’s new Shack Policy that aims to promote the Goan cuisine, the minister said on Sunday, 8 October.
Until now, shacks along the shoreline offered North Indian food, but Goan dishes were not available at these places, he said.
The government has now made it compulsory for shacks to "display and serve" Goan food, including fish curry–rice, he said.
"We have to project our rich cuisine to tourists,” Khaunte said.
He said the Shack Policy, which was recently passed by the cabinet, also intends to address the challenge of illegal hawking and vending on beaches.
Many women involved in illegal hawking and vending on beaches pretend to be working at the shacks when they are apprehended by tourism department officials, the minister said.
“The new policy has mandated that each shack will have to submit the full list of its staff to the department,” the tourism minister said. Those indulging in illegal activities on the beaches will face action, he added.
Khaunte said his department is cooperating with the shack operators in all possible ways, but they should also ensure tourism is not hampered due to their actions.
The state is working with a vision of quality over quantity, but that won’t happen overnight, he said.
“We have to work on our basic infrastructure," Khaunte also acknowledged. "Anything related to tourism, we have to ensure Goa as a tourism state has to have all the infrastructure to support the tourism industry,”
The minister said hotels in Goa are recording an average of 80 per cent occupancy.
“Hoteliers are happy over the occupancy. But you cannot take things for granted. If there is a drop in occupancy, the hotel owners will blame the government,” Khaunte said.
The minister said the state has to step up efforts to promote tourism, for which his department and other stakeholders will have to work together.