112 To Soon Become India's Single Emergency Number
A single emergency number will soon be a reality in India as the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has approved the proposal of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in this regard. The existing emergency numbers will continue to exist for a period of one year.All the existing emergency numbers such as 100, 101, 102 and 108 will be retained as secondary numbers which would then be re-routed to the single emergency number 112.”These numbers will be closed in a phased manner (following a public awareness campaign),” the DoT said in its response to the telecom regulator.
The proposal was earlier rejected by DoT, saying there is a major percentage of low-cost handsets with subscribers which do not support GPS and the impact of enabling all mobile phone handsets with GPS may be studied before taking a call on the issue. TRAI in April came out with recommendations on making 112 as the single emergency number. TRAI proposed implementation of public safety answering point (PSAP) based integrated emergency communication and response system (IECRS) in the country, which will be accessed through a single emergency number 112.
TRAI, in a statement issued, reiterated its recommendations for deciding on a sunset date for incorporation of GPS feature in all mobile handsets so as to obtain more accurate location information of the caller. The telecom regulator also supported the early implementation of the guidelines, issued by the union ministry of home affairs, for Nationwide Emergency Response System.
“TRAI recommendation (of GPS-enabled cellphones) is not accepted as there is large percentage of low-cost handsets with subscribers which do not support GPS,” the DoT said, further suggesting that the telecom regulator to study the impact of enabling all mobile phones with GPS before finalising the view on the issue.
People will be able to make calls on 112 from their mobile or landline phones even if their outgoing call facility has been debarred or the service is temporarily suspended, said the report.
(With inputs from IANS)
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