Emergency? Dial '112'

March 29, 2016 01:23 am | Updated October 18, 2016 02:55 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Indian citizens in distress will soon be able to get help using a single number, ‘112’, for all emergency services in the country, including the police, fire brigade and ambulance.

At present, such callers need to dial in different numbers for different emergencies like 100 for police, 101 for fire, 102 for ambulance and 108 for emergency disaster management. The move, recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in April 2015, was approved by the Telecom Commission on Monday.

“It will be rolled out within months rather than a year,” official sources said.

TRAI had said: “In emergency situations every passing second counts, whether it is a burglary, theft, road-rage, or a fire spreading, or a citizen struggling with a heart attack — the first few minutes are crucial. It is likely that crucial time may be lost in figuring out what number to dial.” For users, it would be simpler and desirable to have a single number for all types of emergencies, it had added.

TRAI had proposed that the existing emergency numbers be retained as secondary numbers and the calls made to them be re-routed to ‘112’. However, once calls to the secondary numbers reduce significantly, they can be withdrawn gradually.

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