Bhubaneswar, July 10: Like Goa, tourists visiting Odisha beaches will very soon enjoy the best of food, chilled beverages, music and sea, all in one place.
"This will not only attract tourists from outside Odisha, but the local tourists visiting the beaches will also have fun there. The beach shacks will have a refreshing ambience along with delectable food, chilled alcohol, and most importantly, the backdrop of white sands and gushing waves," state tourism secretary Vishal Dev told IANS.
Initially, shacks have been planned in six locations, which will be increased later, he said.
The government has decided to allow five shacks on the Puri-Konark marine drive in Puri district and five others in Gopalpur beach in Ganjam district.
Similarly, three shacks will be opened on the Talsari-Udaipur beach front in Balasore district while the same number of shacks will come up on the Paradeep sea beach in Jagatsinghpur district.
The Chandipur beach in Balasore district and Pati Sonapur in Ganjam district will have at least two shacks each.
The tourism department, in consultation with the revenue and forest departments, is identifying suitable land for the shacks, which will be allotted on lease basis for a period of three years.
The state government will provide common infrastructure such as power, water and sewage to the beach shacks which are proposed to be developed in a cluster in each of the locations.
For tourism promotion, serving liquor in beach shacks is now allowed under the Excise Policy, 2021. The OTDC will obtain a licence from the excise department for the selected operators for each location, subject to payment of annual fee, licence fee and other rentals.
The selected operators will have to develop the beach shacks at their own cost. They have to ensure that the staff engaged for the purpose are well trained, polite and free from communicable diseases. The operators have been asked to engage at least 75 per cent manpower from the local community so that locals can get employment.
If the quality of facility/service is not found to be satisfactory, the operator will be instructed to take corrective measures. Further, if the service quality is found to be unsatisfactory repeatedly, the operator will not be allowed to operate, the sources said.
Odisha has a 482 km coast line comprising beautiful beaches spread over six districts with tremendous tourism potential.