New Delhi, April 8: A new number ‘112', replacing all existing emergency numbers may be launched soon. Reportedly, the telecom regulator Trai has suggested that there should be a single number across the country which will serve all emergency purposes, including police, fire and ambulance.
Trai in its recommendations on the emergency number said that the government can integrate all existing emergency numbers such as 100, 101, 102 and 108 into the proposed ‘112' helpline number in the similar manner as '911' is in the US.
"Authority recommends that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for India. This new number may be popularised extensively through a public awareness campaign by the Government," Trai said.
The regulator suggested existing emergency numbers such as 100, 101, 102 and 108 can be retained as secondary numbers. If any call is made to these numbers, the call should be directed to the new single emergency number 112, Trai said.
People will be able to make calls on 112 from their mobile or landline phones even if their outgoing call facility has been debarred or the service is temporarily suspended.
An SMS-based access to new emergency number, in which telecom operators may be asked to provide location information of the device from where SMS has been sent, can also be provided, the regulator said.
Public Safety Answering Points
Trai also recommended setting up of Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) to handle people's call in distress.
Under the new system, the regulator has asked government to set up Response Management System under PSAP which will coordinate for despatch of emergency service.
The PSAP is suggested to have various systems, including a facility to automatically direct incoming calls to a free call taker and location tracking system having an interface to plot incoming location information on a map showing all nearby landmarks and resources and display on a monitor.
Responding resources like PCR vans, Fire engines and Ambulances should be fitted with GPS to transmit location information to PSAP, it said.
How it will work
Trai has recommended that PSAP operators should be able to handle calls in Hindi, English and local languages.
Under the new system when an emergency call will be made, PSAP should get access to location of caller automatically from database of telecom operator and immediately direct concerned emergency service, be it police, ambulance or fire brigade to reach the spot, it said.
For this, four regional databases, one each in metro city, containing subscriber details of telecom operators should be set up in the country.
These regional databases should be interconnected and each of the telecom operator and PSAPs should be mandated to connect to the nearby regional database centre, it said.
The regulator has recommended that BSNL may be directed to set up or hire and maintain infrastructure (data centre) wherein the subscriber database provided by all telecom operators is installed and updated.
BSNL will be responsible for managing the confidential databases and also ensure confidentiality and secrecy of the data, the regulator said. Trai has also recommended that access to emergency facility should not be allowed from mobile handsets or devices which do not have a SIM.
(With inputs from agency)