Both political and financial capitals of India have fared poorly on the Global Liveability Index, 2018, with Delhi ranking 112 and Mumbai five places behind at 117. The rankings of 140 global cities, based on their living conditions was released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Tuesday, a day after the Indian government released its Ease of Living Index. The EIU is part of UK magazine The Economist and provides forecasting and advisory services through research and analysis.
Delhi and Mumbai are only two Indian cities that are included in the EIU’s annual index. The index assigns cities scores on five broad parameters — stability, healthcare, culture/environment, education, and infrastructure using 30 indicators. Delhi has outperformed Mumbai on education, healthcare and infrastructure, while faring marginally better on culture/environment. The only parameter in which Mumbai fares better than Delhi is stability.
Simon Baptist, Asia Managing Director and Chief Economist at the EIU, told The Indian Express, “The weakest area for Delhi is its instability due to the high prevalence of petty and violent crimes, and a high risk of terrorism and civil unrest. It also achieves the lowest possible ranking for public transport (an indicator within infrastructure).”
He added that Mumbai fares low in the infrastructure category, “where it is let down by poor roads and public transport and lack of water provision and quality housing”.
The EIU report is in contrast with the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs’ Ease of Living Index for 111 Indian cities that was released Monday wherein Mumbai ranked at number 3, far ahead of New Delhi at a low 65th rank. While much of the parameters and data sources are different for the two reports, in the Union government’s report, New Delhi is far behind Mumbai on parameters such as health, education and physical infrastructure.
EIU, which was involved in developing the methodology to measure city GDP for the Indian government’s Ease of Living report, had nothing to do with the ranking process itself which was carried out by IPSOS Research Pvt Ltd and Athena Infonomics.
The rankings of both Delhi and Mumbai have slipped by two places this year even as their liveability score remained unchanged due to improvements made by other cities, the report said.
As per their ranking, the liveability factor of these two Indian cities is the same as Mexico City, Jeddah, Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta. “Even newly-developed areas (in Indian cities) are poorly served by public transport, suffer from congestion and pollution, and have inadequate water. While private health and education are acceptable in both Mumbai and Delhi, the level and quality of public provision is well below the global average. High levels of corruption and social and religious restrictions also reduce liveability markedly in both cities,” said Baptist.
Austria’s capital Vienna has been ranked as the best city to live in, displacing Australian city of Melbourne, which had held the record for seven consecutive years. Syrian capital of Damascus continues to be ranked at the bottom of 140 cities despite the report noting that it has witnessed “a stabilisation in its dramatic decline in liveability”. Dhaka in Bangladesh is the second worst with Pakistan’s capital Karachi ranked as the fourth worst.