VISAKHAPATNAM: The alarming number of deaths in pursuit of taking selfies at tourist spots has finally garnered the attention of the Centre which has issued an advisory to all state an UT governments to keep a tight reign on the trend by taking various measures.
The state tourism authorities who received the communication on Wednesday said that the government had been instructed to identify the tourists spots prone to accidents and erect caution boards warning the visitors.
Andhra Pradesh in the recent times has registered quite a few cases of attempts to take selfies ending on tragic notes-falling off cliffs and getting hit by trains and electrocution by high tension power lines.
On August 4, an engineering student from Anantapur district fell to death while trying to take a selfie near a 2,000-foot-deep gorge in Kodaikanal Hills in the Dindigul district on Tamil Nadu.
In another tragedy on July 20, a B Tech student was run over in his bid to take a ‘perfect selfie’ of an an approaching train on a railway bridge in Panyam mandal of Kurnool district.
Similarly, a student of GITAM University in Vizag got electrocuted after he came in contact of a high tension powerline at Rajamahendravaram railway station on June 23. He was trying to take a selfie standing atop a train engine.
The tourism officials said several measures were on the cards including deploying volunteers and tourist police at the identified danger zones in tourist spots. Visitors would be cautioned about the possible dangers through public address system too.
As Vizag has many prime tourists destinations in Andhra Pradesh, several of them vulnerable to accidents, the authorities are all geared up to identify those danger zones, especially in the Araku Valley.
“Though no major selfie related accident has been registered in Vizag so far, some view points in the Agency areas, especially in Araku, are not free from danger. We will identify those areas and sign boards will be erected,” Tourism regional director R Sreeramula Naidu told Express.
In the city limits, he said, pamphlets would be distributed about the dangers associated with taking selfies in the beaches and atop Kailasagiri.
“As the youngsters often become the victims of misadventures, we will organise awareness activities in schools and colleges,” he said.
The concrete plan for the implementation of the Central guidelines would be made which includes creating awareness through social media, he added.