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States to sign up for emergency number

In a bid to provide organised, integrated and accessible emergency services, many states across the country are signing up for the "108" number to deal with exigencies.

delhi Updated: Jun 18, 2008 10:20 IST

In a bid to provide organised, integrated and accessible emergency services, many states across the country are signing up for the "108" number to deal with exigencies.

First to be implemented in the state of Andhra Pradesh, the new emergency number is used as the centralised helpline for medical, police and fire emergencies.

Conceptualised by the Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI), 108 would be also in use in 10 other states soon including Jammu and Kashmir.

There are three states which are presently using 108 as emergency toll free number - Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

EMRI has also signed an MoU with Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and MP. Other states in the pipeline are Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Kerala and Delhi NCR.

In other parts of the world, a centralised emergency management system is helping save lives on a day-to-day basis.

India lags far behind its western counterparts in terms of emergency services, the EMRI said, arguing for such a number to be brought in across the country.

Emphasising on the importance of the golden hour, the crucial hours after any accident or any tragedy, the organisation said avoiding hoax calls to the number could be a life saver.

Despite 75 per cent being hoax calls, 108 serviced one lakh people last October, it said.