Ease of Living Index – Do They Offer Comfort?
The first ever exercise ranks cities in India on the basis of various services and amenities they offer.
A little over 31% of Indians live in urban areas i.e., towns and cities, going by the Census of 2011. The share of urban population was 27.8% in 2001. More people are getting attracted to cities thanks to better civic infrastructure, education and employment opportunities and better governance.
Given the pattern of economic development and administration, India is all likely to have nearly two-thirds of its people living in urban areas by 2050. The country will be adding 416 million people to the global urban population. Currently, urban areas contribute 62% of the nation’s GDP and by 2030, it is likely to touch 75% and generate 70% of all jobs. While these are rosier aspects of urbanization, it could also exacerbate existing challenges, like pollution, overcrowding, rising crime level, poor access to water supply and sanitation facilities and congestion.
Several initiatives have been taken up to improve the quality of living in towns and cities by the Union Government and some state Governments. But for the first time the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has taken up the task of ranking cities on a ‘Ease of Living Index’ which is expected to bring in an element of competitiveness in improvement of delivery of civic services across the country.
The Index has ranked 111 cities which have a cumulative population of 134 million. The Index rates the cities on four pillars and across 15 categories in order to gauge the quality of life. The four pillars are: 1- Institutional, 2- Social, 3-Economic, and 4- Physical.
The 15 categories on which the cities have been measured are: 1- Transport and mobility, 2- Assured water supply, 3- Power supply, 4- Safety and security, 5- Education, 6- Governance, 7- Health, 8- identity and culture, 9- Solid waste management, 10- Public open space, 11- Housing and inclusiveness, 12- economy and employment, 13- Reduced pollution, 14- Waste water management, and 15- Mixed land use and compactness.
Based on the survey, the following cities occupy the top 10 rankings: 1- Pune, 2- Navi Mumbai, 3- Greater Mumbai, 4-Tirupati, 5-Chandigarh, 6- Thane, 7-Raipur, 8-Indore, 9-Vijayawada, 10-Bhopal.
The ranking of some other important cities are as follows: Chennai stands at 14; Surat 19; Ahmedabad 23; Hyderabad 27; Jaipur 30; Nagpur 31; Varanasi 33; Kochi 45; Ajmer 51; Agra 55; Bengaluru 58; Delhi 65; Trivandrum 71; Lucknow 73; Kanpur 75; Guwahati 85, Aligarh 86; Gurugram 88; Moradabad 89; Shimla 92; Srinagar 100; Saharanpur 103; Patna 109; Rampur 111.
The ‘Ease of Living Index’ is a tool developed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) to measure the ‘Ease of Living’ in cities. This tool was accompanied by a framework that helps to conceptualise ‘Ease of Living’ and identify critical factors that support and improve the quality of life of urban citizens in the country. The Ministry of Housing and urban Affairs expects that this Index will enable city managers and other decision-makers understand a city’s baseline and compare its performance across key measures.
For the fuller version of the report, log onto: easeofliving.niua.org/assets/upload/pdfs/ease-of-living-national-report.pdf