Panaji: Goa will rope in the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) to conduct a study on the carrying capacity of the state's popular in a bid to control pollution and the rampant proliferation of beach shacks.
Speaking to reporters at the Goa State Pollution Control Board headquarters in Panaji on Thursday, the board's chairman Jose Noronha said a new mechanism was being evolved to set up clean, paid public toilets on popular beach stretches.
"There may be too many shacks on the beaches. The carrying capacity of the beaches itself should be studied. The board had decided to ask NIO to study the carrying capacity of the beaches to understand how many shacks could be ideally put on a particular stretch of beach," he said.
Located in Goa, the NIO is a central government agency which functions under the aegis of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.
Noronha said the study would look at issues related to sewage management and solid waste management in relation to beach shacks.
Several hundreds of beach shacks cater to the over three million tourists who arrive in Goa annually. The shacks are licenced every tourist season and have to be dismantled with the advent of the monsoon.
Noronha said that in view of several complaints about unhygienic toilets in the beach shacks, a paid public toilet system had been proposed by the board.
"We have received a lot of complaints regarding toilet facilities in shacks. We are looking if we can have a common toilet facility on a paid basis, which can be shared by 10-15 shacks," he said.
The facility would have to be maintained by the state tourism department, he added.
Noronha said a study involving the carrying capacity of Goa's rivers would also soon be undertaken in view of the increasing marine traffic as well as river-oriented tourism and infrastructure projects.
"We have asked the environment department of Goa to study the carrying capacity of our rivers," he said.
He said the decision was taken in view of the large number of projects proposed in Goa like house boats, jetties, marinas, pontoons, berthing points for trawlers and boats.
The baseline study, Noronha said, would help determine "how much (infrastructure) we can allow on which stretch" and would help measure water quality and examine the water bodies for contaminants.