Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that the Centre has advised all states to identify accident-prone tourist spots, to reduce accidents while taking selfies. In response to a question by Shiv Sena MP Rajan Vichare, Ahir said the declaration of “no-selfie zones” is the responsibility of state governments.
Ahir said the Ministry of Tourism has also asked all states to erect signages at accident-prone sites warning tourists against taking selfies at these locations. He added that the states have been advised to deploy police personnel or volunteers at such spots, if possible.
The minister of state for home affairs said the Centre has recommended that states sensitise people about the danger of taking selfies in accident-prone areas through the public address system, social media and mainstream media. Ahir said the central government has also recommended installation of barricades at dangerous spots, wherever feasible.
Vichare also asked whether the government has implemented a “no-selfie zone” at the Kumbh Mela in Nashik, owing to the likelihood of stampedes. Ahir said the Maharashtra government has informed the Centre that during the Simhasta Kumbha Mela held in Nashik in 2015, it had put up signages indicating no-selfie zones.
India reportedly accounts for a high number of “selfie deaths”. In 2015, India reported the highest number of “selfie deaths” in the world, recording 15 of 27 such incidents, a study by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences had found.
On December 28 last year, two Lok Sabha MPs – Om Prakash Yadav, a parliamentarian from Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh legislator Harish Dwivedi – had asked the Centre about steps it was planning take to cure those afflicted with “selfitis”, an alleged disorder suffered by those addicted to clicking selfies and sharing them on social media.