As park benches, pavement tiles and toilets are passé, ‘selfie-points’ are now in vogue for Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) corporators. With BMC elections just over a year away and these selfie-points are becoming a hit with youngsters, as the corporators from across parties, are coming up with selfie points in their wards.
“This is something new and connects with youngsters. Selfie’s are part of life now and so I thought why not set up a selfie point in my locality. It has become a huge hit and over 500 people take selfies there every day. It is something innovative,” said Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s (MNS) Sandip Deshpande who set up the city’s first selfie point at Dadar’s Shivaji Park.
While Deshpande’s photo spot is ready, another selfie point is in the pipeline in Juhu. Local Bbhartiya Janta Party (BJP) legislator Ameet Satam has begun work on a selfie point for the city. “We are going to make a selfie point which will reflect the entire city. It will not be restricted to residents of Juhu or Andheri but people from all over the city can come here to get clicked. The ‘I love Mumbai’ selfie point will be a tourist spot too,” Satam said.
While Deshpande set up the selfie point during the monsoon, with an umbrella theme, with winter setting in his selfie point is themed around butterflies. While civic rules do not allow the use of BMC funds for such work, corporators are roping in private companies under their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) scheme.
Several corporators are now looking to make such photo stops in their localities.
“These selfie points are easy and low cost installations. They give a lot of publicity too. Corporators get a chance to connect with youngsters. This is a good practice but it should not move the focus away from the core civic issues like water supply, drainage, garbage disposal and roads. With time, such new trends are seen. Earlier, setting up newspaper reading rooms were in demand. Now its selfie-points,” said PG Jogdanad, who heads the sociology department at the University of Mumbai.
Deshpande, however said that the BMC should amend its spending norms. “We can’t use our local area development funds for such work. The norms are outdated and should be changed. How long will we just repair drainages and install benches? There should be scope for innovation and creativity,” he added.