India to adopt 112 as emergency number

India man on phone Image copyright AFP
Image caption Dialling the number will allow a caller to reach the police, ambulance, fire department and other emergency services

India is set to introduce a single national emergency number, similar to 911 in the US or 999 in Britain, officials say.

The number - 112 - will connect callers with police, ambulance, fire-fighters and other emergency services.

The idea of the single number has been accepted by the telecoms authorities, news agency Press Trust of India says.

Once approved by the telecoms minister, officials say, it will be rolled out "within months rather than a year".

The proposal to have a single number for emergencies was proposed by Trai, India's telecoms regulator.

At the moment, Indians have to dial different emergency numbers:

  • 100 for police
  • 101 for fire services
  • 102 for ambulance
  • 108 for disaster management

A number of states have also put in place other helpline numbers to assist women, children and the elderly.

Officials said all existing emergency numbers will be phased out gradually once 112 is in operation.