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TRAI recommends ‘112’ on the lines of US' ‘911’

‘It is simpler to have a single number for all types of emergencies’

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Tuesday recommended use of a single number ‘112’ for all emergency services in the country, including police, fire brigade and ambulance.

Presently, callers in India need to dial in different numbers for different emergencies such as 100 for police, 101 for fire, 102 for ambulance and 108 for emergency disaster management.

‘Every second counts’

In its recommendations, TRAI 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.”

From a user’s perspective, it is simpler and desirable to have a single number for all types of emergencies, it added.

The regulator proposed that 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 However, once calls to the secondary numbers reduce significantly, they can be withdrawn gradually.

As per the recommendations, callers seeking help should be able to dial ‘112’ even from mobile or landline phones where outgoing facility has been debarred or the service temporarily suspended.

SMS-based access for the emergency services has also been proposed.

The regulator has recommended setting up of Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), which will be akin to a call centre, through which all calls to ‘112’ will be routed.

“When an emergency call is received at the PSAP, it would be answered by a specially trained officer/call taker/operator... based on the type of emergency, dispatchers activate police, fire, medical and other response mechanisms,” TRAI said.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 12:51:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/trai-recommends-112-on-the-lines-of-americas-911/article7078383.ece

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