Need help but can’t call? You could soon send a SOS to the police over text message or a mobile application.
The government on Wednesday cleared a Rs 326 crore project to set up hi-tech control rooms across 114 cities including 71 that with a million-plus population.
The emergency response system would be able to establish the location of the distress call, dispatch police vans and monitor the response on a global positioning system platform.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs cleared the project to be financed from the Nirbhaya Fund and will cover maintenance costs over the next five years.
According to timelines approved by the cabinet panel, the project would have to be executed within nine months.
“Distress alarms generated by panic buttons, landlines, mobiles... or mobile phone applications would be tracked and Emergency Response (ER) units will be dispatched to attend the call,” an official statement said.
The project would demonstrate capabilities of the New Generation911 network standards for identifying caller location, exchanging data between emergency call and dispatching centres and Police Dial 100 system, Fire, Health and Disaster Management command centres.
Unlike existing systems that can only handle voice calls and very limited data, the new generation networks support text messages, images and videos and can be used to access wide range of data such as building plans and medical information.
Emergency services in most US cities such as Los Angeles already have the capability of pinning locations from where crimes are being reported through the day, track the response of the police in real-time and analyse the calls being received from a security perspective.