TRAI Recommends an American 911-like One Stop Emergency Number For India
“911 how may I help you?” This sentence is perhaps the most popular reference to the American government’s one-stop emergency number for all kinds of public discomfort. By dialling this one number, the citizens can get access to emergency services like police, fire department ambulance and disaster management organizations. Now TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has recommended that Indians should get a similar service and for this purpose they want to assign the telephone number, “112.”
Currently, the various emergency services have different contacts; citizens have to dial 100 for police, 101 for fire, 102 for ambulance and 108 for emergency disaster management. TRAI says that this move will allow users to save critical seconds during an emergency and will be able to alert the authorities immediately.
This move will be appreciated by the citizens who had to fumble previously with various number during emergency situations. TRAI has also proposed to keep the present number as a backup or secondary contact numbers. Even when the users make a call on those numbers, they will be re-routed to 112.
To add even more convenience during an emergency and offer ease of access, TRAI has asked that the calls to 112 be allowed even if the outgoing facility on the phones have been debarred or the temporarily suspended. There is also a proposal to allow access to emergency services through SMS.
TRAI has recommended the establishment of specialised call centers called the Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). It will be manned by professionals trained in handling calls of distress. This is a fantastic move by the regulator and though the service should have been instituted long back, but all we’ll say is, better late than never.