After chaos and risks for selfies on Signature Bridge, government plans ‘safe’ spots
The Delhi government will develop “safe” selfie spots on the Signature Bridge in the second phase of work that begins this week. The decision came after the government’s flagship engineering marvel became a site for selfies, with many perching precariously atop the structure, since its launch on November 4.
The bridge across the Yamuna, connecting North Delhi to Wazirabad, was likened to Eiffel Tower in Paris by Delhi’s tourism minister Manish Sisodia during its inauguration. But days later, reports and photos of the frenzy to click selfies on the bridge as well illegal parking started coming in. Thrill-seekers were seen climbing the bridge’s suspension cables to take hands-free selfies.
“We did not expect such a craze for selfies at the bridge. The bridge was conceived in 2004 when there was no selfie culture. The government has now asked us to develop dedicated selfie points where people can safely park vehicles and click pictures without causing chaos,” Arvind Chandran, general manager, Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC), the agency that constructed the bridge, said.
Officials said they are in consultation with an architect for spots along the 2,214-foot long bridge, which was opened after a delay of eight years. This will be done in the already planned second phase of the project, to develop the bridge as a tourist hub. The plan also includes setting up a glass box (viewing gallery) at a height of 154 metres at the top of the pylon from where tourists will have a panoramic view of the city.
“The traffic movement on the bridge will be stopped between 11pm and 5am from Wednesday for us to begin work on the second phase. People can use the old Wazirabad bridge during this time,” Chandran said.
The work will continue until mid February. “We may also hire marshals to ensure there is no chaos while people take selfies,” he said.
In another addition to the plan , the government has asked DTTDC to install permanent lighting equipment on the bridge so that it will be illuminated throughout the year, instead of its present temporary illumination.
“The idea is to have the iconic structure illuminated throughout the year. On special occasions, such as Independence Day, we will illuminate it with the tricolours. It will also be illuminated on special global occasions such as extending support for a cause, similar to manner in which the Eiffel Tower and other landmark structures are illuminated,” an official said. For this, an extra cost of Rs 10 crore will be needed, he said.