SOS number '112' to start in 14 states, UTs on Feb 19

Last Updated 14 February 2019, 13:29 IST

Fourteen states and Union Territories will next week join a pan-India network of single emergency helpline number '112' where any immediate assistance can be sought by people in need, officials said on Thursday.

The Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) is an integration of police (100), fire (101), health (108) and women (1090) helpline numbers to provide emergency services through the single number '112'.

To access the emergency services, a person can dial 112 from phone or press power button on smart phone 3 time quickly to activate panic call to Emergency Response Centre (ERC). In case of normal phone, long press of '5 or '9' key on the phone will activate the panic call, a home ministry official said.

People can also log on to ERSS website for the state and lodge emergency Email or send SOS alert to state ERC. They can use '112' India mobile app, which is available free on Google Playstore and Apple store.

The states where the single emergency number '112' will be operationalised on February 19 include Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The single number for various emergency services, which is similar to the '911' all-in-one emergency service in the US, will be gradually rolled out across the country, the official said.

Under the Union Home Ministry sponsored project, the states will have to set up a dedicated ERC. The ERC will have a team of trained call-takers and dispatchers to handle emergency requests relating to assistance from police, fire and rescue, health and other emergency services.

Police can view all events after an emergency call is made at the ERC. The ERCs are connected to district command centres (DCC) and the emergency response vehicles and assistance/response to victims are facilitated through them, another official said.

The ERSS is designed to be a common protocol managed by each state and UT. The ERSS provides a 112 India mobile app.

For women and children, 112 India app provides a special 'SHOUT' feature which alerts registered volunteers in the vicinity of victim for immediate assistance.

The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) has been designated as the total service provider by the home ministry for the project. The C-DAC has developed complete ERSS solutions for state and UTs and is also supporting states and UTs in setting up the ERSS.

The central government is providing Rs 321.69 crore to the states and UTs for the ERSS as part of the Nirbhaya scheme.

The service has already been launched in Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland.

(Published 14 February 2019, 13:16 IST)

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