Steps have been taken to improve the response time of the emergency helpline number, 100, the police told the Delhi High Court on Monday.
The Delhi Police, which received flak from the court after Justice Vipin Sanghi complained that his repeated calls to the emergency helpline number 100 went unanswered, expressed “regret” over the matter.
“The inconvenience caused to Justice Vipin Sanghi was inadvertent and due to reasons beyond control and it is assured that all sincere steps are being taken to ensure that such incidents do not recur in future,” said the Delhi Police to a bench comprising Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal.
It said that to tackle the problem of calls queuing up at the telecom service provider, “the matter regarding priority routing of emergency calls has been taken up with the authorities concerned.”
The police assistance system, the central police control room (CPCR) of the Delhi police, was installed in 2008 and attends to about 24,000 calls per day, it said.
“Heavy traffic on TSP (telecom service provider) leads to congestion in their system as a result of which few calls do not reach Delhi Police exchange in CPCR and get abandoned,” the Delhi Police said.
But in an affidavit filed last month, police said the response time to 100 number varies from a minimum of two minutes to a maximum of 37 minutes across the city.
The Delhi Police conducted a study from June 01 to June 30, 2016 on a 24-hour per day basis, with regard to the average response time of PCR vans.
The report indicated that of the total 67,693 calls monitored, the Delhi Police responded to 78.05% calls between 0-5 minutes, while 5-10 minutes were taken to respond to 19.85% calls. The rest 2.1% calls were responded to in 10-37 minutes.
The court on its own converted Justice Sanghi’s letter, which was sent to the Police Commissioner as well as to the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, into a public interest litigation.
Justice Sanghi, in his letter addressed to Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Kumar Verma, narrated his “poor personal experience” of calling up the helpline on April 29 this year, when he was on his way to Vasant Kunj to attend a wedding reception.