Now, there is no need to memorize varied emergency help line numbers!
Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has approved the provision of a single emergency number in India. 112 is the first ever all-inclusive emergency number which will come in effect from 1st January, 2017. The Telecom regulatory body, TRAI, had approached Indian Government to launch the number ‘112’ as a single emergency contact number.
The new emergency number is not going to affect any of the existing emergency numbers. Contact numbers such as 100, 101, 102 and 1906, which are used to contact police, fire department, ambulance and gas leakage management, will be reserved as subordinate numbers.
Let us take a look on some interesting facts about it:
- All the existing emergency numbers such as 100, 101, 102 and 108 will be continued as secondary numbers
- The current emergency numbers will be re-routed to 112
- Some of the current emergency numbers include 100, 101, 102, 1512, 181, 1091 etc
- After a year or so, these numbers will be closed following a public awareness campaign
- Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had earlier recommended to implement an emergency communication and response system (GPS enabled mobile phones) in the country which that would be accessed through 112
- Department of Telecommunications had rejected this proposal since, not everybody uses a GPS enabled mobile phone. According to them, a large percentage of people still uses low-cost handsets that do not support GPS
- The telecom regulator has been suggested to study the impact of enabling all the mobile phones with GPS before finalising the deal
- Other countries which use the 112 number for emergencies include: Albania, Canada, Andorra, Austria, Czech Republic, Australia, France, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Iran, Ireland, Zimbabwe, the United Kingdom, the United Sates, Switzerland, Sweden, Syria, Sri Lanka etc
- Other countries that have only one emergency number: Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Lithuania, Romania, Guam, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, American Samoa, Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Aruba, Belize, Bermuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, the United States etc.