The Punjab Police have further scaled up their citizen support system to cope with the lockdown in the state due to COVID-19 crisis.
DGP Dinkar Gupta said: "To further improve its response time and cope with the increased pressure on 112 helpline, the Punjab Police today augmented the capacity of the 112 call centre by adding 11 workstations, raising its capacity to 53. A total of 159 personnel are manning the stations, working in three shifts."
Operators from the Punjab Police Saanjh Kendras and private BPOs have been roped in and were on Friday provided training to join the 112 workforce, said the DGP.
The workstations were earlier, on Thursday, increased from 32 to 42.
The Punjab government is also in talks with a private BPO firm for hiring a ready/functional 100-operator station to augment/supplement the capacity of 112, the DGP said, adding that they will join the existing workforce soon.
According to the DGP, while in normal times, the number of calls received on 112 was around 4000-5000. This has gone up to over 17,000 in the past few days.
Of these, around 60 per cent are related to COVID-19 related issues, including the provision of essential commodities, emergency medical conditions and curfew related issues, curfew/lockdown, ambulance service, suspected individuals, among others, he said.
The callers are directed to the District Control Rooms or 104/108 for any health-related queries, ambulance etc. Those related to the provision of medicines, groceries and other essential commodities are provided with the phone number of the District War Rooms set up by Deputy Commissioners, concerned official or local vendors as per requirements.
For further streamlining the system, the Community Policing wing of Punjab Police has set up Saanjh Help Desks at all District Control Rooms. All the calls that are forwarded from 112 Helpline to Districts are also taken up by these helpdesks and are proactively followed up with the caller until the issue is resolved.
In liaison with the local PCR and SHO, they are also ensuring that the essential goods and medicines are delivered to needy. They also liaison with other departments, like Health, Food supply, as and when required, said the DGP.
The system helped the 55 families migrant labourers from Bihar, residing in Ludhiana, get dry rations on Friday, said the DGP. In Raja Sansi, Amritsar, groceries were provided to 30-35 families by the SHO in coordination with the local Gurudwara, while in Muchal village in Amritsar (Rural), a woman who had recently delivered a baby was rushed to hospital in distress.
The Mohali police also responded to similar calls to provide dry ration to 500 families and one cooked meal for immediate consumption on Friday.
The Punjab Police has also stepped up their relief operations and supplied 223605 packets today, an increase of 19 per cent from Friday. In the last three days, a total of 5,42,000 units of food have been distributed among 27 districts.
In another initiative, ADGP Intelligence has compiled a detailed list of the slums in the state to enable due care for the slum dwellers in these tough times, according to the DGP.
Meanwhile, the Punjab Police have also taken several measures to manage crowds arriving at the 'mandis' after Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh's directed that harvesting and marketing of horticulture products be permitted in a controlled manner.
While the 'mandis' will open for sale at 5 am on Sunday and Monday, from Tuesday onwards they will commence sale at 8 am. (ANI)