TRAI recommends 112 as single emergency number for India
TRAI Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on 7 April 2015 has proposed ‘112’ as a single emergency number that can be used all across the country including for police, fire and ambulance departments. This emergency number will be similar to the ‘911’ an all-in-one emergency service in the United States. At present, for emergency disaster management different numbers for different emergencies such as 100 for police, 101 for fire and 102 for ambulance are in existence. TRAI has suggested that existing emergency numbers can be retained as secondary numbers and the calls made to them be re-routed to ‘112’. After time being, once a call to the secondary numbers significantly reduces, they can be withdrawn gradually. Callers seeking help in emergency can dial ‘112’ from mobile or landline phones even when outgoing facility has been debarred or the service temporarily suspended. TRAI also has proposed SMS-based access for the emergency services. The regulator also has recommended setting up of Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) – a call centre through which all calls to ‘112’ will be routed. Depending upon type of emergency, PSAPs will send police, fire, medical and other emergency response services.