For the third year in a row, Chandigarh ranked the lowest in a survey of urban governance reform carried out by Bengaluru-based advocacy group Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy. The city scored only 2.1 out of 10 in the survey carried out in 21 cities across the country. Cities like Ludhiana, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad were ranked higher than Chandigarh, which ranked 21.
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The major parameters which were considered while giving the marks include urban planning and design, urban capacities and resources, empowered and legitimate political representation and transparency, accountability and participation.
Last year as well, Chandigarh, which is perceived to be a planned city, was ranked low. According to the fourth edition of the Annual Survey of India’s City Systems 2016, the top slots have been occupied by Thiruvanthapuram, Pune and Kolkata, while Delhi remained at 9.
Officials of the UT Administration remained tight lipped when asked as to why the city had been fairing poorly continuously in this survey.
Former Mayor and BJP Councillor Arun Sood said, “ I don’t know why we are at the bottom for the last few years. I even attended one of their conferences last year when i was the Mayor. I will study the parameters once again.”
“Like one of the parameters which is resources of municipalities, I agree we don’t generate more and that is the reason why we passed the agenda of parking hike yesterday. We are looking for more ways to generate revenues,” he added.
The low scores imply that there is a need to strengthen their city-systems that is quality of laws, policies and institutions significantly to improve service delivery and thereby, deliver a high quality of life to citizens.
The survey, which looks at 83 governance parameters based on the City-Systems framework, shows that Indian cities score between 2.1 and 4.4 on 10, as against the global benchmarks of London and New York, which score 9.3 and 9.8 respectively.