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Media Information
The cities of choice

Published & Updated as on - 2010-03-20

Delhi is the best Indian city to live in, while steel city Jamshedpur ranks lowest in the Liveability Index 2010, says a report prepared jointly by CII and Institute for Competitiveness.

In the overall ranking to gauge the quality of life across Indian cities, Delhi scores over Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkota, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune and Gurgaon that take up respective ranks from second to ninth. Faridabad, ranked 32, Ludhiana 33, Lucknow 34, Patna 35, Vishakhapatnam 36 and Jamshedpur 37 make up the last five when it comes to quality of life.

Chandigarh is a surprising 14th, proving that the city needs much more than apparent beauty to be truly liveable. The country’s financial capital Mumbai comes second in the list of 37 cities mapped in the list, prepared on parameters like living standard, socio-cultural environment, education, medical standards and recreational possibilities, among others.

Delhi comes out tops when it comes to education, safety and economic environment; second in housing options, socio-cultural and political environment. Medical standards, however, are not up to the mark pushing the capital to rank 17. Kozhikode, Trivandrum and Kochi come out tops.

Mumbai ranks 12. Mumbai aces the demographic advantage, followed closely by Kolkota, Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Delhi, in that order.

With regard to education, the winners are Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Gurgaon, Kolkota, Hyderabad and Chandigarh. Hyderabad much lauded for its access to education, ranks eighth.

As far as safety is concerned, contrary to negative press, Delhi turns out to be the safest city followed by Bhopal, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune, in that sequence. Jammu is ranked 33, Srinagar is 34, Dehradun at 35, Gurgaon at 36 and Noida comes in at 37.

As Gurgaon and Noida have the worst crime record, the report said, “Delhi could be a simple victim of devils bearing proximity”.

A liveable city, according to the report, is not just an urbanised area in an urbanised region defined by the presence of a municipality. Liveability refers to an urban system that contributes to the physical, social and mental well-being and personal developments of all its inhabitants, it said.

“The quality of life experienced by the citizens living in a city is tied to their ability to access infrastructure, food, clean air, affordable housing, meaningful employment and green space and perks,” it said.

Major challenges

With 30 per cent of India already living in towns and cities, it is projected that in the next two decades nearly half of India would be living in urbanised areas. A major challenge would be to develop new cities, especially Tier-II and III, as alternate hubs for commercial activity and migration.

“This becomes important due to the fact that the present metros are reeling under severe resource and infrastructure crunch,” says Anshuman Magazine, chairman and managing director at CB Richard Ellis, a real estate consulting firm.

According to Tarun Gupta, head, city development, PwC, the main characteristics that differentiate Tier-II and Tier-III cities from Tier-I cities are access to better services along with planned environment, facil­ities for education and economic opportunities, better connectivi­ty to the rest of the country and internationally, and better urban transportation systems. Tier-I cities also have higher potential to grow.

So, how will the Tier-II and Tier-III cities manage to get a Tier-I ranking? They need to plan their growth according to their inherent strengths, e.g. trade, heritage, tourism, etc and have clarity in vision.

They need to focus and improve on their core functions, e.g. water supply, solid waste management, etc and be seen delivering on their duties. They need to participate in increasing economic activities in the area by facilitating licenses, approvals, etc and undertake capacity-building of their employees and do cross-learnings with other cities in the country to learn and implement best practices.

Source: Hindustan Times

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