NEW DELHI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has proposed 112 as an all-in-one emergency helpline number across the country for police, fire, ambulance and women safety services, among others. However, all existing emergency numbers 100, 101, 102 and 108 will be retained as secondary numbers.
According to the proposal, any calls made to the secondary numbers will be rerouted to 112 with an announcement that 112 will be the future emergency number. “Once calls to the secondary numbers reduce significantly, these numbers can be withdrawn gradually,” the regulator said in a statement.
The idea behind introducing a single emergency number is that it isn’t easy to remember different numbers in a distress situation. Critical time is often lost in figuring out which one to call.
Therefore, similar to the 911 all-in-one emergency helpline in the US, the Centre plans to integrate all emergency numbers. People will be able to make calls to 112 from their mobile or landline phones even if their outgoing call facilities have been debarred or the services are temporarily suspended. “This new number may be popularised extensively through a public awareness campaign by the government,” TRAI said.
SMS-based access to the new emergency number, in which telecom operators may be asked to provide location information of the sender’s device, can also be provided, the regulator said.