The MTDC on Saturday launched its ‘open deck buses‘ for people wanting to take a darshan of Marine Drive and other tourist spots of Maximum City
The MTDC on Saturday launched its ‘open deck buses‘ for people wanting to take a darshan of Marine Drive and other tourist spots of Maximum City

The state cabinet, in a bid to promote tourism, adversely impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, has allowed development of seven properties of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation by private parties; it has also allowed setting up of eco-friendly shacks at 8 beaches.

In the first phase, MTDC’s resorts at Ganapatipule, Matheran, Mahabaleshwar, Harihareshwar and Mithbav and vacant plots at Tadoba Tiger Reserve and Furdapur (Aurangabad) will be offered to private sector. The time period for leasing these MTDC properties and the lease rent amount will be fixed by a high level committee.

The shacks will be set up on a pilot basis at Guhar and Areware beach in Ratnagiri district, Kunkeshwar and Tarkarli in Sindhudurg district, Varsoli and Diveagar in Raigad district and Kelva and Bordi in Palghar district. At every location, 10 shacks will be allowed to be set up with involvement of locals. Shacks are temporary structures, which serve as restaurants and bars with sunbeds on the sand.

The government has fixed an annual fee of Rs 45,000 for the first year, Rs 50,000 for the second year and Rs 55,000 for the third year. In addition, the shack developer will have to pay a Rs 30,000 deposit which will be returned after three years.

These shacks will remain open between 7 am and 7 pm with curbs on playing of music. CCTVs will be installed in all shacks.

Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray said, the letting out of the seven properties on lease or for JV for 90 years and setting up of eco-friendly beach shacks will help boost revenue and build a world class tourism hospitality sector in partnerships with the best hotel brands in the world.

Further, development of beach shacks will be a major tourist attraction. The government has stipulated 80% employment to locals, added Thackeray.

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