Emergency Response In India
The Maharashtra district, which is the third largest state in the Republic of India, is in charge of emergency response in Mumbai city. The ‘Maharashtra Emergency Response System’ (MERS) is currently being developed with innovative tools to improve emergency response times in Mumbai. Mumbai police’s control room is said to be the best in the state and is also undergoing several technological upgrades. Control rooms are mainly in charge of dispatch at the moment and the contact numbers for Mumbai city are detailed below. Please note that one report from 2015 was included due to its relevance to the overall implementation of the NERS program and because it is where MERS evolved from.
Historically, different phone numbers were used to call police, fire and ambulance services in India. This system was initially designed for emergency contact and not for emergency response. At the time it was designed, the telecom sector was regulated with only one telecom provider across India and one in each metro. Calls to these numbers were “routed to a call agent/dispatcher of that particular emergency service and handled by the emergency personnel themselves.” In 2012, the Ministry of Home Affairs was entrusted to set up a National Emergency Response System (NERS) which comprised an integrated Computer Aided Dispatch System for
Emergency Response. It was expected that respective States in India would implement NERS.
Mumbai is the capital city of the Maharashtra district, which is the third largest State in the Republic of India. It has “one of the largest police forces in the country, 10 Commissionerates and 35 district police units”. It covers all emergency response in Mumbai as well as other cities. The Maharashtra police are currently developing the ‘Maharashtra Emergency Response System’ (MERS) (112 program), wherein Phase 1 is expected to be completed by the end of this year. This is the State's proposed program modeled after the NERS.
THE Maharashtra Emergency Response System
The integrated emergency number of MERS '112' aims to simplify the past system, as people had difficulties recalling the numerous emergency helpline numbers of the state (i.e. 100 for police, 101 for fire, and 108 for ambulance) and to improve emergency response times.
Before MERS, the centers where calls were received also varied and depended on the location of the caller. Currently, a person still has to dial 100 in Mumbai (and other States where the 112 has not yet been implemented), wherein the the call would be received at the police control room in the city. However, if the caller is in a rural area, they will have to call the police control room directly, which will contact the nearest police vehicle to reach them. Once 112 rolls-out and stabilizes, the existing emergency numbers will gradually phase-out. The system is modeled after the ‘911’ in the US and ‘999’ in the UK.
The primary contact center for the 112 centralized calls will be received at Navi Mumbai, with Nagpur being the secondary contact center. De-centralised dispatch will be received at respective District Control Rooms (DCRs).
Since MERS is still undergoing Phase 1, a PSAP database similar to the one in the US, currently does not appear to exist yet. However, since control rooms are/were typically in charge of dispatch in Mumbai and other cities/states, the number for Mumbai's State and city control rooms are indicated here as a way for you to contact them directly:
• Mumbai State Police Headquarter's Control Room
Telephone Number: 22822631 / 22026636 / 22026680
Fax No: 22026566
Whats app: 7506777100/ 7506888100
• Police Commissioner Control Room
Telephone Number: 22621855 / 3054 / 5020, 2263333
Fax No: 22633319
Whats App: None
A complete list of control room numbers for other cities under the Maharashtra district can be found here.
For areas where 112 has not yet been implemented, the following numbers still have to be called (numbers may vary depending on the state):
CURRENT AND FUTURE TECHNOLOGY
Mumbai police’s control room is said to be the best in the state and is also undergoing tech upgrades. In August 2017, Mumbai police set up a new software at its main control room, which automatically traces the geolocation of its emergency callers. Previously, the Mumbai police had to get details about all their users from telecom service providers to update its database.
Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs) will also be part of the Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) deployed on the field, in order to locate them on the GIS map. Rolta GeoCAD (computer-aided dispatch) has already been deployed in Maharashtra. The Rolta CAD solution at the Mumbai police control rooms is "both desktop and web based for call taking, assessment of incidents, real-time tracking of response vehicles, deployment of resources and efficient management of incident towards favourable resolution." MERS cases can also be monitored by senior officers through a mobile app. GIS maps and Geofencing will also being used to track callers.
Contacting emergency services can also be made through "a mobile app, SMS, email, VoIP and social media tools." The use of these technologies suggest that web browsers are available in dispatch areas in Mumbai.
To summarize, Mumbai city is said to be the best in the state and are making use of innovative technologies. They are also in the process of upgrading their technologies for improved emergency response times. The ‘Maharashtra Emergency Response System’ (MERS) is currently under development and Phase 1 is expected to be finished by end of year. Control rooms lines are the best option to contact them directly.