112 proposed as India’s single emergency number

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New Delhi: India’s telecom regulator TRAI on Tuesday proposed using a single number ‘112’ for all emergency phone calls across the country including for police, fire and ambulance services.

“Authority recommends that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for India. This new number may be popularised extensively through a public awareness campaign by the government,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said here.

To suggestions that existing emergency numbers like 100, 101, 102 and 108 can be retained as secondary numbers, TRAI said calls made to these numbers should be directed to the new single emergency number 112.

Similar to the 911 emergency service in the US, people will be able to make calls on 112 from their phones even if their outgoing call facility has been debarred or the service is temporarily suspended.

TRAI also recommended setting up of helplines to handle calls of people in distress.

Under the new system, the regulator has asked the government to set up a Response Management System under a Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) which will coordinate for despatch of emergency services.

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