"The government has decided to set up "1033" toll free national helpline number for reporting road accidents, and other issues relation to National Highways," Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari informed Lok Sabha today in a written reply.
Indian Highway Management Company Ltd (IHMCL), a firm promoted by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has been asked to set up call centres for national highways helpline, he said. "Accordingly, IHMCL has structured the project in six geographical zones out of which works have been awarded in four zones," he said.
He said for West Zone call centre would be set up at Ahemadabad for Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Dadra, Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu.
For South Zone, call centre would be set up at Mysore and states covered will include Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andaman and Nicobar Island, Lakshadweep and Puducherry.
For Delhi Zone, call centre will be at Gurgaon and the states covered under it will include Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh. For Chandigarh Zone, the call centre will be at Mohali with Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab and Chandigarh falling under it. "For Eastern Zone and North Eastern Zone tender has been called," Gadkari said.
The development assumes significance as India accounts for about 5 lakh road accidents, one of the highest annually of which 1.5 lakh people lose their lives and another 3 lakh are crippled.