Much like the famous 911 in the US and 999 in UK, India has now decided to adopt 112 as the national emergency number. Fiinovation believes the inter-ministerial telecom comission has given a go-ahead to the move. This will be beneficial for the citizens who had to dial different numbers in time of emergency. This use to be a problem for the citizens to not only remember the numbers but also to know which number to dial which will address their concerns.
It is understandable that in the time of emergency, making the citizens think whom to contact is a problem in itself. Fiinovation suggests that at present citizens use to dial 100 to contact the police, 101 in case there is a fire, 102 if they wanted to call an ambulance and 108 for disaster management.
Fiinovation believes that the 112 will be rolled out gradually while the numbers 100, 101, 102 and 108 will be phased out after a year. Till then the existing numbers will continue and awareness will be created for citizens to dial 112 for any kind of emergency.
Fiinovation believes that the concept of having a single number for all emergency purposes has been there for a long time now. It will now be upto the citizens and state governments to enable the single emergency number effectively. Fiinovation understands that the move will require active participation from the people and the states to make this a success.
Last year in April, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended adoption of 112 as the national emergency number to the telecom ministry. TRAI also suggested the inclusion of a host of services, starting with calls meant for police, fire, ambulance, helpline for women, senior citizens and children initially in a single number. While other services may be integrated gradually and in a phased manner. Fiinovation comprehends that to ensure that this becomes a success the calls to the emergency number will be prioritised in mobile networks while SMSbased access will also be permitted.
Fiinovation believes that all important location information and details of the caller will need to be made available to the agencies taking the emergency calls so that necessary steps can be taken swiftly. As per an official the states will also have to setup call centres that would help the local citizens get solutions to their grievances in the local languages. Fiinovation complaints that this issue can be challenge as policing is a state subject and there is lack of infrastructure. States will have to put in place adequate infrastructure like ambulances and requisite number of police personnel to deal with emergency situations can become a nightmare.
Fiinovation believes that the number 112 was chosen due to variety of reasons and the number 100 was not recommended as women and children may not wish to dial it as it has been associated with the police.
By – Rahul Choudhury
Media & Communications, Fiinovation
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