New Delhi, May 22: Don't be surprised if in distress you dial 100 and hear "all lines in the route are busy"! The congestion in non-maturing of calls was flagged by Delhi Police at a high-level meeting recently chaired by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, prompting the authorities to press the panic button and ask the Telecom Ministry to find a solution to the problem, official sources said.
Delhi Police, which receives on an average 22,000 calls a day at its control room, informed the Home Ministry that many calls via telephone number 100 do not get through due to congestion in the network, they said.
They did not give the number of calls getting dropped or not completed due to congestion but drew the attention of authorities, saying the matter was grave and an early solution was required.
Police personnel answering these calls have also acknowledged the problem on the basis of feedback received from aggrieved callers.
Necessary steps are being taken to resolve it with the help of the Telecom Ministry, a senior official said requesting anonymity.
The Department of Telecommunications has written to all government and private service providers to give details of traffic for police helpline number 100 and the number of telephone lines being provided at present.
They have also been asked to clarify whether traffic to the emergency number is delivered directly or routed through Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL).
If the traffic is routed through MTNL, the sources said, it has been directed to ascertain who is responsible for ensuring delivery of calls.
The access service providers have been asked to give number of telephone lines being provided at present and the number of telephone lines required to handle the rise in the volume of such calls.
They have also been asked to give details of "gap, if any, and in how much time it will be filled", the sources said.
The Telecom Ministry, which is already grappling with the problem of call drops and network congestion, has also asked the service providers to augment the traffic and the telephone lines to the emergency police telephone number, they said.
Altogether 82,92,203 such calls were received on phone number 100 in 2015, as per Delhi Police's record. Justice Vipin Sanghi of the Delhi High Court had recently written a letter to Police Commissioner Alok Kumar Verma, saying his calls to emergency number 100 went unanswered when he was stuck in a traffic jam on April 29 night.
Converting Justice Sanghi's letter about his experience with the police emergency helpline number into a public interest litigation, the high court had sought the response of the Centre and Delhi Police. The Judge had claimed distress calls either went unanswered or were put on hold.