In the next few months the Indian Government will roll out a single ‘112 national emergency number’ and people will soon have to dial only one number in case of any emergency situations to avail help of services such as the police, ambulance and the fire department. The 112 national emergency number will be similar to the ‘911’ in the United States and ‘999’ in the United Kingdom or ‘000’ or ‘112’ in case of Australia.
It would be similar to the all-in-one emergency service in the US and the proposal has been approved by the Telecom Commission. The inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission has accepted TRAI’s recommendation of a single emergency number ‘112’ and it will be drafted by the Department of Telecom. It will be rolled out in 2016 once it gets the approval from DoT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. The roll-out of 112 will see a gradual phase-out of existing emergency numbers like ‘100’ for police, ‘101’ for fire department, ‘102’ for ambulance services and ‘108’ for disaster management.
Existing emergency services numbers will be active for a period of one year once the ‘112 national emergency number’ is made active pan-India. This is to ensure that all citizens are aware of the new number.
In all likelyhood it may replace various helpline numbers prevalent in a number of states under various special categories of citizens, like Woman in distress – 181 (Delhi), Police Headquarter helpline – 1090 (Uttar Pradesh), Missing Children and Women – 1094 (Delhi), Crime Against Women – 1096 (Delhi) and Children in Distress – 1098. It appears as though a person in distress will only need to call 112 in the near future, their calls will be directed to the concerned departments immediately for help and assistance.
What does ‘112 National Emergency Number’ mean for the Indian motorist?
Rising cases and incidents of road accidents have been a major concern in the country. The Indian Government has decided to setup ‘1033’ toll-free national helpline number for reporting road accidents and other issues related to National Highways. But for intra-city related accidents or emergencies, motorists will need to call ‘112 national emergency number’ for an ambulance and general purposes such reporting an accident or theft of vehicle to the police.
Notable Features of 112 National Emergency Number:
This service will be accessible by anyone even if their outgoing call facility has been stopped or temporarily suspended (for both Mobile SIMs and Landlines). Anyone will be able to communicate with this service via an SMS and the system will learn the location of the caller and it will be shared with the nearest help center for immediate assistance.
The service will be operated pan-India by a call-center type of facility where the representatives will speak in Hindi, English and the local language for easy communication.
At TheMotorLife we thank the government for this effort and hope that they will quickly establish ‘112 National Emergency Number’ to benefit everyone. We also hope that the government speeds up other initiatives to benefit and improve safety of millions of motorists plying on the country’s roads everyday!