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HindustanTimes Sat,02 Aug 2014

Chandigarh 11th on list of best cities in India: Survey

Sanjeev K Ahuja, Hindustan Times  Gurgaon, October 21, 2013
First Published: 14:55 IST(21/10/2013) | Last Updated: 16:09 IST(21/10/2013)

The quality of life in India’s fastest growing city —Gurgaon — has been deteriorating day by day, with the city scoring among the least with regard to socio-economic infrastructure, a recent survey conducted by the industries association Global Initiative for Restructuring Environment and Management (GIREM) has revealed.

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GIREM is a non-government, non-profit, industry-led association. The association surveyed the country’s top 21 business destinations — few of which are established while others are potential major business destinations — for its socio-economic infrastructure.

In this, Chandigarh ranked 11th, while Gurgaon 19th and its NCR counterpart Noida 17th. Bengaluru topped the list, which also featured Chennai, Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur at better positions. Malls, multiplexes and housing were a saving grace for the Millennium City, which scored the highest on these two parameters. On the other hand, human capital, energy, water, mobility and transport, schools and colleges, talent pool, climate and city culture categories were in pits.

In addition, Gurgaon has very little office space to offer and a low ability to attract talent and manpower.

“Gurgaon is the hub of all the bad things - no mobility strategy, no proper drinking water and electricity supply, no solid waste management. The business community’s operations are under tremendous stress here. The city should adopt a 360 degree plan to address these concerns,” stated the GIREM survey report, which opined that the city’s future as a popular business destination could be adversely impacted due to these drawbacks.

On the other hand, Noida, known for its soaring crime rate, has marginally better water management, environment and safety standards, higher ability to attract talent and manpower. But there is no dwelling space for this manpower and talent. Additionally, there is a lack of leisure spots and city culture.

“We need to move away from the traditional stance of ‘I pay taxes, therefore it is for the government to deliver.’ The private sector has a greater role to play in Gurgaon and is willing to participate in infrastructure development,” said Shyam Sundar S Pani, president GIREM, who has concluded that the quality of life in Gurgaon is soon depleting with each passing day.

But, the topper lags behind in other parameters - energy, housing, malls and multiplexes when compared to other cities.

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