400 spots now no-selfie zones

400 spots now no-selfie zones
The next time you go to Nandi Hills, you will see a board cautioning you against taking selfies. The government is calling the popular tourist destination a no-selfie zone. Just an hour’s drive from central Bengaluru, the verdant hills are known for their sheer cliffs. The Karnataka State Tourism Department is erecting ‘no-selfie’ boards at 400 destinations across the state. Tourism Department Principal Secretary Naveen Raj Singh told DH the boards would be in place in about a month and a half.

The department has divided the state into three regions---south Karnataka, coastal Karnataka and Hyderabad-Karnataka, and its selfie-risk awareness campaign covers water bodies, hillocks, cliffs and rocky terrain. To start with, the boards are coming up at Nandi Hills, Chintamani Hills and Gudibande Hills, all quick drives towards the north of Bengaluru, and frequented by weekend tourists and trekkers. The department is also paying special attention to beaches where tourists from October to February. Tourism Department Director N Manjula told DH some boards would be customised for the locations. These boards will be coming up for the first time in the state and the aim is to reduce accidents.

The department has identified hazardous areas, and directed all its assistant directors in the districts to list less known destinations that call for boards. Such boards have begun to greet tourists in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

In August, the Mysuru district administration, the Karnataka tourism department and the police tried to make the Chamundi Hills a no-selfie zone, but they haven’t been successful. Two deaths in Gokarna in May and two more at  Alekan Falls in Chikkamagaluru in July prompted the department to think of warning boards. Concerned over such deaths across the country, the Centre had directed all states in August to put up such boards.

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