Shimla ranks first in ease of living index
Shimla, the erstwhile summer capital of India, has ranked first among 62 cities with a population under a million in the 2020 Ease of Living Index.
The report that was released by Union minister of housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri stated that Shimla had scored an aggregate 60.9 points in four broad verticals to emerge at the top of the leaderboard.
As many as 111 cities participated in the survey. Cities were slotted into two categories — those with a population of more than a million and those with a population under it.
Shimla had ranked 92nd in the 2018 Ease of Living Index. However, the cities had not been categorised on basis of population in the last report.
The index evaluated the wellbeing of the citizens in the surveyed cities according to different parameters comprising four pillars — quality of life, economic ability, sustainability and citizen’s perception survey— that were split into 14 categories and 49 indicators.
Also dubbed as ‘Queen of Hills’, Shimla scored 53.05 points in quality of life; 23.39 in economic ability; 69.16 in sustainability; and 83.30 in citizens’ perception survey.
Shimla is a safe city, say MC commissioner
Shimla municipal corporation commissioner Ashish Kohli said the hill-town was better than the other capital cities when it came to safety and security.
“The crime rate in Shimla is considerably low as compared to other capital cities or big towns. Shimla scored over 80 points in safety and security,” he said, adding that the city had also done well in housing and shelter. “Under the Rajiv Gandhi Aawas Yojana, 112 houses were proposed to be built, of which 96 have already been constructed and 16 are under construction,” he said.
Shimla also won accolades for water management. In 2018, the city had experienced an acute water crisis that had left residents reeling. Most of the city had received water only once in eight days. There were long queues at public taps, and many residents waited for hours for water tankers. Now, Shimla draws 51 minimal liquid discharge (mld) of water per day. During the crisis, the water supply had dipped to an all-time low of 18 mld.
“After the Shimla Jal Pradhan Nigam plugged all leakages, the price of water has also come down from ₹117/kiloliter to ₹90/kiloliter,” Kohli said.
Urban development minister Suresh Bhardwaj said that Shimla’s top ranking in the ease of living index was a manifestation of the development made by the state government in different fields. “The state has made unprecedented progress in the fields of education, health and road construction while there has been a decrease in crime in the state,” he said.
“We are glad that Shimla has topped the ease of living index survey. We at the municipal corporation and local bodies have tried to implement the schemes of the Government of India. The credit goes to local representatives, the state government and authorities. We will strive to ensure that all stakeholders are benefitted,” said municipal corporation councillor Kimi Sood.
Dharamshala ranks 37th
Meanwhile, Dharamshala, the only other town in Himachal to be evaluated, has ranked 37th in the list.
Dharamshala scored 51.51 points overall. It scored 53.58 points in quality of life; 60.77 in sustainability; and 67.40 in citizens perception survey. However, its score in economic ability merely 2.55. The hill-town had ranked 56th in the 2018 index.