India’s New Signature Bridge Was Hailed As An Infrastructure Marvel. Now It’s A Spot For Dangerous Selfies.
Just days after it was inaugurated, the Indian government's flagship engineering marvel has become a site for dangerous selfies, piles of garbage and absurd traffic violations.
It took eight long years to build the new Signature Bridge. When it finally opened on Nov. 4, a minister called it the pride of the city and likened it to the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Now, just days after it was inaugurated, the Indian government’s flagship engineering marvel has become a site for dangerous selfies, piles of garbage and absurd traffic violations.
“We did not expect that there would be such a craze around this bridge,” said Shurbir Singh, managing director of the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corp. (DTTDC), speaking to the Indian Express newspaper.
The 2,214-foot asymmetrical bridge was built across the Yamuna River and connects north Delhi to Wazirabad, an increasingly populated area to its east. The cable-stayed structure also has a 505-foot-high viewing gallery.
According to the Express, in just two days, police recorded 53 cases of improper parking and 24 one-way violations, and they had to tow away 27 vehicles.
According to news reports in India, the bridge is littered with parked cars and thrill-seekers climbing the bridge’s suspension cables to take hands-free selfies. Street hawkers have set up stalls to capitalize on the bridge’s popularity.
“The government has done a great job, but people are making the bridge dirty. It is attracting a lot of tourists for sure, but it is disorganized,” said one visitor, Om Prakash Sharma, speaking to the Hindu newspaper.
India’s rapid economic growth over the past three decades is finally starting to deliver long-awaited urban infrastructure.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised flashy new transport links, including a $17 billion bullet train and 53,000 miles of new roads.
According to a recent study by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, about half of the world’s selfie-related deaths between 2011 and 2017 happened in India.
The city of Mumbai has even introduced “no selfie zones” to prevent reckless selfie-taking.
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