When in emergency in the US, people dial 911. In the UK they dial 999. Nearly every developed country has a single emergency number.
Till now Indians had to remember a host of numbers for as many emergency situations.
Not anymore, for Indians will now have to dial just one number in any emergency – 112.
The new number will replace the existing ones in a phased manner over a period of one year.
Currently these are the emergency numbers in use in India:
In April 2015, Trai had recommended the adoption of a single emergency number to the Department of Telecom (DoT). The Telecom Commission approved the suggestion on Monday. The biggest problem is in remembering what number to dial when in an emergency situation, which could be traumatic one in itself.
So how does this work?
- The caller tells the operators at 112 of the kind of emergency.
- Operators at 112 then reroute the call to the appropriate emergency service provider.
The caller will have to share the location information and other details so that service is prompt.
Even those without outgoing facility in their phones will be able to dial 112.
The States will have to set up 112 call centres with representatives speaking in English, Hindi and the local language of the State, so that the service can be availed by everyone in India. This facility will be rolled out in the coming months.