Dehradun among bottom five in urban reforms: Survey

  • Neha Pant, Hindustan Times, Dehradun
  • Updated: Mar 17, 2016 16:42 IST
One of the reasons Dehradun ranked so low was the absence of a single-window clearance process for development projects. (HT file photo)

The Uttarakhand capital has done it again! While working against the clock to revise its Smart City proposal, a nationwide survey has adjudged Dehradun to be among the bottom five cities in quality of urban governance.

Dehradun finished 17th among 21 cities in the third Annual Survey of India’s City - Systems 2015, which covers various parameters. The city’s ranking was one lower than the last year’s.

The survey, carried out by Bengaluru-based non-profit organisation Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, with Jana Urban Space Foundation and IDFC Foundation, released its report on March 14.

In the survey, Dehradun’s overall score was 3 out of 10, spread across four broad parameters — urban planning and design (2.5), urban capacities and resources (1.6), transparency, accountability and participation (3) and empowered political representation (5).

“It is shocking that at a time when funds worth crores of rupees are being pumped in through central government schemes, we are failing to address even the basic issues of urban governance,” said Jagdish Dhiman, a senior Congress corporator.

The survey also closely studied various aspects of the urban local body where Dehradun Municipal Corporation fared poorly on many grounds.

Some of the highlights were absence of a single-window clearance process for development projects, lack of a framework to evaluate the success of city’s development plan and absence of a digital governance roadmap for the urban local body.

City mayor Vinod Chamoli said the Dehradun Municipal Corporation has undertaken “many reforms of late and the ranking will improve surely in the next survey”. He, however, blamed the state government for “failing to empower” the civic body over the years.

“It is for the state governments to take the leadership in transforming the quality of our city-systems through such actionable blueprints,” Srikanth Viswanathan, coordinator (advocacy and reforms) at Janaagraha, noted in the survey report.

However, even Mumbai - the city with the highest overall score (4.2) – was found to be way behind the global benchmarks of London (9.4) and New York (9.7).

Last month, Dehradun was ranked 13th from the bottom among 73 cities surveyed for their cleanliness status as part of Swachh Survekshan 2016. This came shortly after Dehradun finished at the bottom of the list of Smart City candidates ranked by the Union ministry of urban development.

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