The selfie fever has had us in its grip since a couple of years now, and unlike almost every other fad, this one refuses to die down. Other than being flooded with close-ups of duck faces, the most disturbing bit about taking selfies is the number of lives that the trend has claimed till date.
To combat the death-by-selfie situation, the Indian government has decided to implement a plethora of measures to identify danger zones at tourist spots across India.
"For the safety and security of tourists - both domestic and international- we are forming specific guidelines and will ask state governments and other agencies to demarcate areas (at tourist destinations and historical monuments) which are considered 'risky' for any such activities," an official of the Union Ministry of Culture and Tourism was quoted to have said in a Daily Mailreport.
The central government mandate would require state governments and union territory administrations to put up danger signs, demarcating unsafe spots where lives have been claimed due to carelessness while taking selfies. Training guides will also be provided at such locations to avoid mishaps.
The guidelines lay down that guards will be deployed at sites that come under the Ministry of Tourism or the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to ensure no slip-ups. CCTV cameras will also be installed to monitor the movements of tourists at accident-prone spots.
"I have written to all state governments, requesting them to introduce safety precautionary measures and declare 'Selfie Danger Zones' at tourist sites. We are taking up the issue very seriously," Union Minister of Culture and Tourism Mahesh Sharma told Mail Today.
"The guidelines will include steps like putting up safety nets around all identified SDZs so that if anyone suffers a fall, fatalities can be avoided. There will be arrangements of emergency medical assistance at all Selfie Danger Zones too," an official was quoted to have said.
After two people drowned near the Bandra-Worli sea link this year, the Mumbai Police have designated 16 'no-selfie' zones in the city. Signage at treacherous spots have also been put up by the Maharashtra and Karnataka governments to avoid further selfie-related accidents. The states of Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Kerala and Maharashtra have also deployed tourist police teams to combat this menace.