CII and Institute for Competitiveness study indicative of several benchmarks for India’s Urban Development & Prosperity
Indicative of best quality of life and coming up as an aspirational benchmark of urban development for other Indian cities, the city of Delhi leads the chart declares ‘The Liveability Index 2010’, a report based on a rigorous study conducted by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Institute for Competitiveness, India (IFC). The Liveability Index 2010 was released by Mr. M Ramachandran, Secretery – Urban Development, Ministry of Urban Development, Government at International Conference on Competitive Cities “City Development: Emerging Business Models” organised today by the Confederation of Indian Industry.
Coming close to the winner Delhi are the cities of Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Pune ranked 2nd to 8th respectively in overall quality of life ratings. Ironically the NCR region, which should have kept pace with the development of Delhi, has failed to do so. Gurgaon, Noida and Faridabad have been ranked 9th, 27th and 32nd respectively.
The Liveability Index 2010 is a methodical index of quality of living conditions in Indian cities. The report is brought-out after a comprehensive study on 37 cities, ranked on the basis of eight pillars like demographics, education, health & medical standards, safety, housing, socio-cultural political environment, economic environment and natural build & planned environment basis. An objective analysis was conducted by employing more than 300 indicators on a 10 year time line series across 20 constituent sub-pillars. This data driven approach is a distinctive mark of reports by Institute for Competitiveness, wherein no subjective opinion surveys are resorted to.
Contrary to media questioning safety in Delhi, the report puts Delhi as the safest city, while Bhopal and Bengaluru follow. Sadly, Gurgaon and Noida both take up poor rank on safety, 32nd with Faridabad 18th; is this what is jeopardising Delhi's safety? Delhi also tops the list in domains of education and economic environment followed by Mumbai and Bengaluru. On Education front, the poorest performers are Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Jaipur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Patna, and Vadodara.
Mumbai gains the top rank in Socio-political environment, followed by Delhi, Kolkata, Goa and Chennai. The city of Mumbai leads in city planning followed by Chennai and Delhi.
Health and Medical standards are the most notable for Kozhikode, Trivandrum and Kochi, a straight win for Kerela. Mumbai is 12th while Delhi is 17th and Bengaluru 18th. Lucknow, Noida and Patna (37th) are the last three ranked cities in providing convincing examples of health and medical standards. Health and Medical Standards are issue of gravest concern for cities like Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Mumbai and Pune as well.
Comparing house-cost & availability, urban household crowding and household incomes, the cities of Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Gurgaon, and Noida provide the best housing options. Faring poorly in this parameter are the cities of Vishakhapatnam, Nagpur, Coimbatore, Kolkata, Kochi, Nashik, and Vadodara.
The report has raised a few stirring questions: Why are our cities lagging on liveability standards vis-à-vis international cities? What is the understanding of policy makers and those in governance, of issues besetting our cities? Are they aware of the factual position? Do they have a generic grasp or an analytical insight into state of the cities? What roadmaps are being evolved to excel on global standards? The authors also exhort each city to discover its uniqueness, and create competitive advantages, rather than rely solely on inherited configurations.
Cities have to strongly emerge as engines of development for the economy. India has a total urban population of 285 million and 35 metropolitan cities and metropolises, therefore with such huge numbers the issue of urban development in the country demands a proactive addressing of challenges and integrating the opportunities in the national polity agenda with a priority approach.