//Police SMS to the rescue of citizens

Police SMS to the rescue of citizens

Monday February 27 2006 08:53 IST

VIJAYAWADA: A few days ago, the city was rife with rumours that some unidentified schoolchildren were being kidnapped and taken to Gosala. Anxious parents made frenetic calls to the Police Control Room (PCR) on January 20 and in minutes the city was abuzz with the rumours spreading like wild fire.

However, how things changed quickly! Parents who were carrying their mobiles, were seen heaving a sigh of relief. A message from the police commissioner popped up on their mobiles, informing that the news was just a rumour and there is no need to panic.

That is the utility of the Emergency SMS System (ESS), introduced at the Vijayawada police commissionerate recently.

“It is a no-hassles system through, which the public could be informed of any emergency situations through SMS,” CP Umesh Sharaff told this website’s newspaper. This is only the second of its kind system in the country after Mumbai.

At present, all the private service providers are logged on to the system, with the exception of BSNL CellOne services.

Situations like eruption of communal riots, rumours, road accidents, major processions and clamping of curfews would be immediately intimated to the people so that they can take enough precautions or avoid them.

For instance, with the city being criss-crossed by two national highways, the SMSs could be of great utility in terms of informing people about traffic diversions.

“However, the SMSs would be given only in emergencies and are not meant to create unnecessary panic among citizens,” Sharaff pointed out.

HOW IT WORKS

The ESS functions in a simple manner. SMSs from the CP’s handset are routed to a GSM router put up at the PCR, which decodes the message and sends it across various service providers.

The SMSs would be then forwarded to the headquarters (distribution point) at Mumbai from where they would be sent to all the subscribers. The ESS system is another feather in the cap for the computersied Dial 100 system at the PCR.

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