Chandigarh slips to 29th rank in Ease of Living Index
From the fifth most livable city in 2018, Chandigarh is now not even in the top 20 in the country.
According to the ranking of 111 cities on the Ease of Living Index 2020, released by the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs on Thursday, Chandigarh is placed at a lowly 29th position out of 49 cities with million plus population.
The index is an assessment tool that evaluates the quality of life and the impact of various initiatives for urban development.
In the inaugural 2018 report, Chandigarh was fifth when all 111 cities were part of a composite ranking. For the 2020 rankings, the cities have been divided into two categories: those with population more than a million and those with less than a million. If the score of all these cities were to be considered, Chandigarh would have ranked 45th out of 111 cities.
Bengaluru emerged as the top performer in the million+ category, followed by Pune, Ahmedabad, and Chennai. In the less-than-million category, Shimla is ranked the highest, followed by Bhubaneshwar, Silvassa, and Kakinada.
Notably, Chandigarh scored marginally more than in the previous rankings. In 2018, it scored 53.16 out of 100, which has gone up to 54.4 in 2020.
Poor economic ability drags city down
Of the four parameters of the index, the city has performed the worst under economic ability, scoring just 9.9 marks out of 100, with a rank of 34 among 49 cities. It got only 7 marks for the level of economic development and 12.99 for economic opportunities – the two sub-categories of this parameter.
Not surprisingly, in the latest ease of doing business report too, the city was ranked at the bottom. Bengaluru, the topper in this parameter too, has a score of 78.82.
In citizen perception (residents’ view on the services provided by the administration), Chandigarh has scored 72.8 and a rank of 35. Bengaluru has scored 78 with a rank of 20.
Consolation: City’s education best in India
Chandigarh’s overall quality of life, third parameter under the index, has been ranked 20th with a score of 54.42. In terms of quality of life, the best city is Chennai with a score of 60.33.
However, in education, a sub-category, the city tops the country with a score of 83.27. It is followed by Indore, Bengaluru and Amritsar.
In the fourth parameter – sustainability, which includes sub-categories of environment, green space and buildings, energy consumption and city resilience – Chandigarh’s score is a modest 60 with rank of 12. In city resilience, it scored 100 marks, while in green space and buildings, it scored the lowest 24.
Nothing to cheer about in municipal performance too
In the newly launched Municipal Performance Index 2020, too, the city has fared poorly. It is 23rd among 51 cities with million plus population included in the list. Indore tops the index.
This index was launched as an accompaniment to the ease of living. It seeks to examine local government practice in municipalities across areas of services, finance, policy, technology and governance.
The Chandigarh MC, which has for long struggled with its finances and will start the coming fiscal with a deficit of more than ₹700 crore, has been ranked 37th when it comes to the finance parameter. In planning, it is ranked a lowly 43.
‘Matter of serious introspection’
“It is a matter of serious introspection for the UT administration, municipal corporation and Chandigarh Smart City Limited. Of special concern is the poor ranking of 32 in citizen feedback. This shows residents don’t see in positive light the services provided by the administration,” said Vinod Vashisht, convener, City Forum of Residents Welfare Organisations.
Chandigarh Congress president Subhash Chawla said: “We have been consistently saying that the city’s governance is on a downward spiral. The BJP has miserably failed to deliver on multiple fronts: jobs, health and infrastructure development. It has only burdened people with taxes.”
“We will analyse the report and see what lessons can be learnt, so that the city can improve its performance,” said Mayor Ravi Kant Sharma said.
UT adviser Manoj Parida said, “We will examine the rankings and try to improve on different parameters.”