Chief minister Sheila Dikshit has asked the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) to buy four new mobile vans to ensure swift response to distress calls made to the Delhi government’s 181 helpline.
The decision was taken at a review meeting of the helpline. In the meeting, the chief minister also directed agencies concerned, including Delhi police, DCW and the state health department among others, to hold regular coordination meetings.
“There have been a few instances where the DCW was unable to send help to the victims as its lone mobile van was not available at that time. In several cases, victims had to wait for hours to get help. The chief minister has directed them to purchase more such vehicles to improve the response time,” said a senior officer.
Moreover, sources said the helpline has been experiencing some technical snags. What has been happening is that once the helpline forwards the victim’s number to the police, instead of calling the victim, the cops end up calling back at 181, assuming it to be the victim’s number.
“A senior police officer, who was present in the meeting, has promised to look into the issue,” added the official. There have been several complaints of tardy response at the police’s end.
“In up to 86% cases, calls that come to us are for the Delhi police. Call it their trust on our helpline or the lack of response on the police’s helpline, calls that should go to police are made to us,” said a senior government officer.
The Delhi government’s 181 helpline was launched in the wake of the December 16 gang rape.