Federal govt to set up national helpline service in phases

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Shafaqna Pakistan: The federal government is said to introduce a national helpline service across the country in phases to provide immediate assistance to citizens in case of any emergency.

The four-digit helpline number will be linked to all federal, provincial agencies, police, law enforcement, hospitals, rescue and other relief and emergency services.

It will be set up by the Ministry of Information Technology and will be fully developed by IT and telecom experts at the national level. The helpline’s main desk will be based in Islamabad, whereas separate desks will be set up in every district.

The helpline will be enabled with an automated system to liaise with other agencies and provide assistance. A high-level committee will be set up to oversee the federal helpline, which will include representatives from the federal, provincial and other agencies.

Moreover, the helpline aims to provide assistance in emergencies from security agencies, hospitals, fire brigade stations, relief agencies, bomb disposal squads, ambulance services, rescue agencies and other essential support service agencies.

Federal Minister for Information Technology Aminul Haq told The Express Tribune that work to set up the helpline was in progress at the federal level. “People can call on the helpline number from anywhere… from home, a public place, road, train, highway or any other place in any area in case of emergency,” Haq specified.

He said the helpline will help with fire related incidents, hospitalisation, security, crime prevention, rescue and other matters. In case of being notified of a emergency, the central control room will get in touch with the desk of the concerned district from where the immediate help will be provided by contacting a relevant aid agency.

According to the federal minister, the helpline will be launched in Islamabad in the first phase, followed by Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and Peshawar. After this pilot phase, it will be introduced on a national level. “We will try to set up this helpline across the country in the next one to two years,” the IT minister added.

He said that the main desk of the helpline would have the numbers of officers and personnel of all concerned agencies. The entire system of this helpline will be computerised.

A senior government officer confirmed to The Express Tribune that the helpline will be introduced on an experimental basis in major cities of Pakistan in the next four months. If successful, the scope of the helpline will be gradually extended across the country.

According to the official, the Ministry of IT is setting up the helpline to facilitate the people, in line with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan

Express Tribune