Mumbai, India, Dec 3, 2019 -- Maharashtra is all set to join pan-India network of single emergency helpline number ‘112’ for those seeking quick assistance in the time of distress. Two mega call centres are coming in the State, one at Nagpur and another at Navi Mumbai in the first phase as part of the project. So far only twenty states and Union territories have joined the pan-India network, informed Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Nilesh Bharne to ‘The Hitavada’ and claimed that all assistance would be provided to women or anyone making the distress call. The officer said that ‘112’ rollout is planned on the lines of ‘911’ emmergency number that is prevalent in the United States.
It will be integration of police (100), fire (101) and women (1090) helpline numbers and the project is being implemented under the Central Government’s Nirbhaya Fund. "Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) visualise having a single pan-India emergency number ‘112’, recognised internationally with aim of integrating swift response from agencies in time of emergencies faced by individuals," said Bharne. A panic button is already provided on all mobile phones which on activation can trigger an emergency call to 112. The Emergency Response Centres (ERCs), being set up by the States and Union Territories can receive panic signal via voice call to ‘112’, email requests on state ERSS website or the ‘112’ mobile app, the official stated.
One major advantage of new system is location-based tracking of victim through location-based services of all phones or even more accurately through GPS for smart phones. The ‘112’ India app provides for ‘shout facility’ designed especially for women, for enlisting support of volunteers, who have registered themselves with the state police, for emergency response. To access emergency services, a person can dial ‘112’ on a phone or press the power button of a smart phone three times quickly to send a panic call to the Emergency Response Centre. In case of a normal phone, a long press of the ‘5’ or ‘9’ key can activate the panic call. A sum of Rs 321.69 crore is earmarked for rolling out Emergency Response Support System out of which Rs 278.66 crore is released to States and the UTs from Nirbhaya Fund.
The Fund was set up in aftermath of infamous 2012 Delhi gangrape case. People can also log onto the ERSS website for the respective state and send an emergency email or SoS alert to State Emergency Response Centre. They can use ‘112’ India mobile app, which is available free on Google Play Store and Apple Store. The Nirbhaya Fund was set up by the Central Government for projects specifically designed to improve the safety and security of the women. The 20 States and Union Territories include Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Pudducherry, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland.
Beware of this WhatsApp forward msg AN OLD phone number of a helpline for women has resurfaced following the gang rape and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad. The viral message reads, send this Nirbhaya number to your wife, daughters, sisters, mothers, friends and all the ladies you know.. ask them to save it..’ the number that is being circulated - 9833312222 - was launched in the year 2015 by Government Railway Police (GRP) in Mumbai as an exclusive WhatsApp number. However, it was discontinued in February 2018. So calling this number is of no use. In case of emergencies, dial 100 to connect with the local police.
‘112’ Call centre at Lakadganj For dealing with 112 call, a separate call centre is being established at Lakadganj police station, where the first smart police station of the State is built. State police had roped in Tech Mahindra to set-up the 112 emergency call centre which would be manned by nearly 100 persons. A Police official said that 36 districts of Maharashtra would be divided between two call centres. A caller dialling 112 would be connected to police, fire, ambulance or other services through the call centre. A review of the progress on establishment of 112 helpline number was held through video conferencing with all unit commanders during the last week. Sources said the project of 112 is likely to be commissioned within next three months time period.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, December 4, 2019
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