Special numbers will get priority during emergencies | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Special numbers will get priority during emergencies

In order to strengthen the communication system that collapsed within minutes of the serial bomb blasts last week, the Disaster Management Authority (DMA) has decided to consolidate numbers of decision makers and first-responders, and ask telecom service providers to include their numbers in a priority list, which can be accessed during emergencies.

mumbai Updated: Jul 22, 2011 01:07 IST
HT Correspondents

In order to strengthen the communication system that collapsed within minutes of the serial bomb blasts last week, the Disaster Management Authority (DMA) has decided to consolidate numbers of decision makers and first-responders, and ask telecom service providers to include their numbers in a priority list, which can be accessed during emergencies.

This is an attempt to avoid a scenario like the one where chief minister Prithviraj Chavan was unable to reach senior police officials for 15 minutes after the blasts because of network problems. In a meeting held by the DMA on Wednesday to plug the gaps in the system, it was decided that the state government would be asked to prepare a list of officers who need to be contacted during emergencies.

“We have taken technical opinion on this and it is possible to prioritise certain numbers which will get access even in a situation where phone lines are jammed,” said additional municipal commissioner, Manisha Mhaiskar, who is the secretary of the DMA.

It was also decided to train civilians in first aid.

“Doctors from major civic hospitals will conduct workshops in local fire stations for citizens who want to learn the basics,” said a civic official who attended the meeting.

“The civic body has also decided to create a specialised ‘disaster ward’ in one of its major hospitals to treat patients of such attacks,” said Rahul Shewale, chairman of the civic standing committee.