3 April 2016


It's a great news for the Indians as 112 is being made the new “SOS” number throughout the country. Next time a burglar breaks in, or the house is on fire, or a road accident besieges the neighborhood, just dial 112 — the proposed Indian equivalent of the American 911 and the UK 999 all-emergency number. There is no more the need to memorize the various different numbers of the myriad departments which would specifically cater to our problems during a case of emergency!

To have a single number for emergency situations has been in work for a long time now and would require the active participation and enabling provisions from states to make it a success. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended the implementation of the toll-free number as a single point of contact for assistance in a major emergency. Unlike the earlier estimated time of one year, the new number will be rolled out within  a few months.

Credits :- IBN live

In India, different emergency communication and response systems are in place — police (100), fire brigade (101), ambulance (102) and Emergency Disaster Management (108). Also, a number of states have notified various helpline numbers for assistance to special categories of citizens, like Woman in distress – 181 (Delhi), Missing Children and Women – 1094 (Delhi), Crime against Women – 1096 (Delhi), Police Headquarter helpline – 1090 (Uttar Pradesh) etc.

The new helpline should be an integration of all the existing emergency numbers in India such as 100, 101, 102 and 108, says the regulator . The TRAI suggested that the existing help lines can be retained as secondary numbers and if a call is made to any of these numbers, it should be directed to 112 and it can be dialled from both the mobile phones and landlines. The service will also be made accessible to those SIMs or landlines whose outgoing call facility has been barred or temporarily suspended. Users will also be able to communicate through SMS and the responding system will detect location of the caller and share it with the nearest help center.

The service will be operated from a call centre-like facility and representatives will be able to provide  a support in Hindi, English, and other local languages.

It has also been stated that all the existing emergency numbers, including the state-specific ones will be phased out within a year of implementing the new '112' number. This will be done based on the awareness about the new number. Telecom and Internet service providers will have to enable their networks for integration with the system, which will also have an automatic location information database to identify the spot from where the call has been made. Calls and text messages will land at the nearest public safety answering point or the control room. The emergency response centres will function under the police commissioners in major cities and district magistrates in other urban hubs.

 "The states will need to set up call centres that would also cater to the local languages spoken in their respective region," an official source said.

Analysts say that implementation of the measure can be a challenge to many of the areas as to bring in the adequate means, like the ample number of ambulances and the requisite number of police personnel to deal with  the emergency situations at a quick pace, can be an infrastructural nightmare.

 Now it is only the matter of time which can prove whether this new number will be a boon or a bane.


A dreamer and a well wisher of all creatures, Anumita Mukherjee is a student of English literature from St.Xavier's college, Kolkata. This bibliophile is a poet herself and also shares the knack of writing about social issues.

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