A week after informing the Delhi High Court that there were bandwidth and connectivity issues in the 100 helpline, Delhi Police Wednesday again blamed the phone lines for delays in response by the PCR.
Appearing for the police, advocates Chetan Sharma and Shailendra Babbar said the problem of unanswered calls occurred during peak hours and priority is not given to 100 by telephone service providers as it is a free service. Terming it as “startling”, the bench of Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ashutosh Kumar said crime does not wait for peak and non-peak hours. The bench has for now issued notice to the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology
“The maximum time we take to address a distress call is 37 minutes. In 75 per cent of cases, we reach the spot in zero to five minutes. In 19 per cent of cases, we take five to 10 minutes,” said the lawyers in an affidavit filed before the court.
The bench, however, noted that there were “several uses” for the PCR vehicles, including carrying injured persons to hospitals. It also asked why PCR vans were used as “ambulances” for sick or injured persons, observing that police work was “crime detection” and ambulance services were available in the city. The submission was made during a hearing on a PIL on women’s safety in the capital, which had been taken up suo motu by the high court after the December 16, 2012 gangrape.