For police assistance, people in Punjab can dial a common emergency number ‘112’, which was launched on Monday on trial basis under the Centre’s Nationwide Emergency Response System (NERS) project. Designed on the lines of ‘911’ operational in the USA, the NERS was conceptualised in the aftermath of the 2012 gang-rape of a woman in a bus in Delhi. Under the project, ‘112’ will be the single common number for help during emergency situations. All other emergency numbers such as 100 for police, 101 for fire brigade, 102 for ambulance will be replaced by the common number. A centre is being set up in Mohali for receiving calls from people in distress and the state police is expecting to officially begin the emergency number service in the next couple of months.“The common emergency number ‘112’ is under trial in Punjab and people can dial this number instead of ‘100’ for police help,” said Inspector General of Punjab Police G.S. Dhillon, who is handling the project.A majority of the people are still unaware of he emergency number ‘112’ The common emergency number will be launched in the next six months, he said.“We will initially have 60 call receivers with a capacity of handling one lakh emergency calls per day,” Dhillon said, adding the Centre had provided Rs 9.28 crore for this project.Currently, Punjab police receive about 50,000 emergency calls per day on the ‘100’ number, out of which just about one and half per cent cases are actionable.
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