The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is all set to launch a new service for highways and roadways across the country under which, the authorities will introduce a toll-free number (1033) to report road accidents or lodge complaints regarding operation or maintenance.

Due to unreported road accidents, a lot of lives are lost as the emergency services are delayed – so to avoid such situations, the NHAI has decided to introduce a toll free calling service. The NHAI toll free calling service will let people report road accidents or even allow them to report complaints regarding the operation or maintenance of national highways. As per NHAI, work for introducing toll free 1033 calling service is already complete and is expected to be launched by upcoming Friday. NHAI Chairman Deepak Kumar said, “We have completed all the work related to this project. The aim is to provide quick help, rescue any accident victim, and take him/her to the nearest hospital. We are also collaborating with state governments for the deployment of ambulances along highways exclusively for our road users.”

The core purpose of introducing this service is to enable everyone and anyone to be able to report road accidents by just calling 1033. Reported road accidents will ensure that the accident victims on national highways will be able to receive medical assistance immediately. The existing 108 emergency medical helpline that calls for ambulance is effective, but with a dedicated service just for national highways will make it a lot more efficient and quick. 1033 helpline will conceive a ‘one-stop solution’ for national highways in emergent or non-emergent situations. Hence, there will be two ways, and if any emergency situation is reported, the information will be relayed to nearest operation centres which would dispatch ambulance, medical care and cranes to the site for immediate rescue operation.

The helpline call operations will be manually monitored so that the information can be mapped accurately and efficiently – also, if needed the calls will be transferred to operators who are fluent in local languages. Besides the 1033 helpline, NHAI has other plans to be introduced soon to make national highways a better medium of transportation. A NHAI subsidiary – Indian Highways Management Company Ltd (IHMCL) has completed the process of mapping the entire national highways network of India via the geographic information system (GIS) to make the highways more commutable and spot any requirement of maintenance immediately.