National Emergency Number in the offing

The Government has taken the first step to set up a nationwide emergency number 112 mainly to deal with crime against women while expecting five lakh calls per day in the first year of operation.

The Union Home Ministry has floated the ‘Request for Proposal’ last Friday for the ‘Selection of IT Service Provider for Nationwide Emergency Response System’ and expects to operationalise the emergency number by 2017-18.

The proposed project under the Nirbhaya Fund, named in the memory of the December 16 gangrape-murder victim of Delhi, is aimed at meeting the current challenges being faced by police forces in the absence of an immediate emergency response system, specifically inclined towards women issues.

The decision to have a common national emergency number came after the December 16, 2012 incident and Justice J S Verma Committee recommending such a measure.

The project is “conceived to bridge the gap”, a senior official said. The job of the selected IT service provided would be to “design, configure, customize, implement and maintain” the system to be implemented across India.

The system has been designed to handle a large volume of calls daily with a significant busy hour call volume percentage that should ensure that maximum number of calls could be handled in an hour in peak-load conditions, the Ministry document said.

According to an estimate, in the first year of operation, the system is likely to attract 5 lakh calls per day or 18 crore per year while it is expected to double in the next five years.

At present, India has three emergency services 100 (Police), 102 (Fire) and 103 (Ambulance), which was designed at the time of a regulated telecom sector with only one telecom provider across India.

A number of cities have also provided additional numbers for specific emergencies and this led to “confusion” in the public about emergency contact number, the Ministry said.

The system will have to be integrated with non-emergency numbers meant for counselling, answering to complaints and taking feedbacks. The 24X7 system will be able to receive inputs from various voice and data services such as call, SMS and email to attend to women in distress.

The Project Aims to:

** To provide single emergency response number across country for women safety

** Integration with non-emergency number for counselling, answering to complaints, taking feedbacks

** Providing 24×7 response system which can receive input from various voice and data services such as call, SMS, email,

Internet of Things

** Identification of location of person in distress

** Timely dispatch of field resources to location of incidence

** To locate and dispatch nearest GPS enabled vehicles

** To acquire ability to analyse trends and station GPS-fitted 4 and 2 Wheelers at strategic locations

** Integration with Government applications such as App store, Himmat, mysecurity.gov.in

** Integration with existing Dial 100, Dial 108, Dial 181 and other emergency response system

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on June 29, 2015)

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