Karnataka now has an integrated emergency helpline number, 112, which will allow residents of the state to call for police, fire and emergency, and ambulance services.
The Emergency Response Support System (ERSS), which is already in place in 17 states in the country, will be implemented in Karnataka in the next few days.
"A single number - 112 - will integrate all other helpline numbers with it. This will be helpful for preventing crimes and during emergencies. It can be used for any emergency including police, fire, ambulance, traffic issues, disasters," Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said speaking after the launch of the service at the Communication, Logistic and Modernisation wing of the police department.
This means that the different emergency numbers for services like 100 for police, 101 for fire brigade, 108 for ambulance and 1091 for women helpline, will now be integrated into one emergency number - 112. The concept is based on the 911 universal emergency number launched in the United States of America and was first launched in Himachal Pradesh in November 2018 before implementing it in other states.
Upon calling the number, an operator will note down the complaint and assign the caller to the concerned department in their district.
112 will be an alternative helpline number until it is fully implemented and established in the state. The other helpline numbers - 100, 101, 108 and 1090 - will be functional for now but it will be discontinued in the future, officials of the Communication, Logistic and Modernisation wing of the police department confirmed.
This also means that the 'Namma 100' helpline, which is an integrated helpline number in cities of Karnataka including Bengaluru, Mysuru, Hubbali, Dharwad, Kalaburagi and Manguluru, will be integrated into 112.
Currently, the 112 helpline number is fielding calls from only landline numbers across the state. It will be fielding calls from mobile numbers in the next two days, officials said.
A mobile-app '112 India' launched in May this year by the Union Government allows users to send a distress signal using a 'shout' feature in case of an emergency. This will now be integrated with the helpline in Karnataka. Pressing the power button thrice on newer smart phones will also connect users to the 112 emergency control room.