‘112’ will be India’s all-in-one emergency number from January 1, 2017.
Indians will now be a call away from any kind of distress situation. The single number provision would be similar to the ‘911’ all-in-one emergency service in the US. Users having SIMs and landline whose outgoing facility are abandoned or temporary suspended, can also avail the service by dialing 112. Calls will be diverted to the concerned department without any extra waiting time. User will make communication through SMSs, or call and the system will learn about the location of the caller. This will then be shared with the nearest help centre. People will be able to feed ‘112’ in panic button system which will also be available on all mobile phones from January 1 under the law. It will enable users to make emergency call or send alerts to multiple numbers just by pressing a button.
Currently India has different communication and response system such as police (100), fire brigade (101), ambulance (102) and Emergency Disaster Management (108). All existing emergency numbers will be phased out within a year of rolling out 112, depending upon the awareness about this new facility. An inbuilt GPS navigation system would be mandatory for all phones a year later with effect from January 1, 2018. The emergency service calls will also be supported through a call centre like facility, which will have representatives speaking in Hindi, English and the local language. The existing call centres which handle emergency number calls will be asked to handle calls on 112 as well. And additional capacity is being worked out by the department.