Emergency response number '112' was launched by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday.
Mr Kumar also flagged off 400 police patrol vehicles that will be used to address distress calls received through the helpline.
"This single helpline number '112' will reduce the response time. Senior officers must ensure that the response time should be within 20 minutes. This will certainly strengthen people's trust in the police force," he said.
People can call the toll-free number for all emergency services, including police, fire and health. The calls, to be handled by a centralised control room, will track the location of the caller and alert the nearest vehicle.
The centralised command and control centre has been set up at Bihar Police Radio Headquarters in Patel Nagar in Patna.
"At least 100 people will work in three shifts at the centre to provide emergency services to people in distress," said a senior police officer.
People can also reach through SMS and e-mail, he said.
"In the first phase, we have procured 400 vehicles -- 100 for Patna and 15-25 each for other districts. Total 1,200 vehicles will be procured. About 7,000 personnel have been trained for this new system," said the official.
The ERSS (Emergency Response Support System) is a central project. The Centre also provides funds to the states for its implementation.
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