Pune has ranked first while two more Maharashtra cities — Navi Mumbai and Greater Mumbai — figure in the second and third spots in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs’ Ease of Living Index released on Monday. New Delhi was ranked 65.4
Tirupati, Chandigarh, Thane, Raipur, Indore, Vijaywada and Bhopal also figure in the top 10 list in that order. Among other major cities, Chennai holds 14th rank, Ahmedabad 23rd, Hyderabad 27th, and Bengaluru 58th.
With West Bengal refusing to participate in the Centre’s rankings, just as the state has done with all other urban schemes, Kolkata is excluded from the index. The index covers 111 cities that are smart city contenders, capital cities, and cities with population of 1 million plus. Rampur in Uttar Pradesh has ranked the worst on the scale with Kohima and Patna on the bottom two and three ranks while Varanasi stands at 33.
According to sources, New Delhi’s low ranking is mainly due to problems of data gaps. “Data aggregation was not easy owing to the multiplicity of agencies that control various aspects and area of New Delhi such as NDMC, the three municipal corporations of Delhi, Delhi Jal Board, Metro among others,” said officials.
The index captures the quality of life based on the data collected from the urban local bodies on four parameters, which were further broken down into 15 categories. The four parameters include institutional (governance), social (identity, education, health, security), economic ( economy, employment) and physical factors (waste water and solid waste management, pollution, housing/ inclusiveness, mixed land use, power and water supply, transport, public open spaces).
Institutional and social parameters carry 25 points each, physical factors have a weightage of 45 points and economic factors five points totalling to a 100 mark scale on which cities were evaluated.
On the four parameters, Greater Mumbai scored the highest on physical infrastructure while Delhi came at rank 70. Navi Mumbai scored the best at institutional sub-index.
Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (Independent charge), who released the index, said, “This exercise has made us deal with a reality where you are dependent on a large number of local bodies for data. Many people consider this to be intrusive. But this will have a very positive demonstrative and lighthouse effect where people will realise that providing data will be the new normal in order for them to be able to enjoy a greater ease of living.”
The index was conceived in June 2017 with the Ministry starting the exercise eight months ago in January 2018 with the help of the consortium of IPSOS Research Pvt Ltd, Athena Infonomics, and Economist Intelligence Unit.
Ministry officials said that the index has been developed to allow city managers to get a grip on the city’s baseline and compare its performance across key indicators.