Delhi scores high on education, housing
Delhi ranked 13th among 49 cities with million-plus population in the Ease of Living Index 2020 (EoLI 2020) released by the Union housing and urban affair ministry on Thursday. Parameters such as housing, economic opportunities have helped the national capital improve its overall score — Delhi ranked 65th among 111 cities in the first Ease of Living Index in 2018 --- but it was still far behind Bengaluru, Chennai and Navi Mumbai.
While Delhi performed well in education, housing and shelter and economic ability categories, it stood at 44th position of the 49 cities surveyed in the citizens perception category. The overall ranking of the capital in this category among 111 cities was 95.
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasising the ease of living, along with the ease of doing business, as a key policy priority, the rankings of cities have assumed significance in shaping government policies and determining expenditure priorities. A total of 111 cities participated in the assessment exercise that was conducted in 2020.
The well-being of citizens living in 111 cities was assessed on four main parameters: quality of life (35% weightage), economic ability (15%), sustainability (20%) and citizens perception survey (30%). The ministry assessed these parameters based on 49 indicators in 14 categories such as education, health, safety, level of economic development, economic opportunities, housing, mobility, etc. The 111 cities were divided in two broad categories: those with a population of million-plus, in which there were 49 cities, and cities with less than a million population, in which 62 cities were bracketed.
A senior housing and urban affairs ministry official said that they assessed the services provided by local bodies and how it impacted the quality of life of people living the cities and also people’s perception about it.
Delhi was ranked 35th among the 49 cities in the quality of life parameter which was assessed based on the education, health, housing, waste management, mobility, safety and security, and recreation. While Chennai topped the list, cities such as Ghaziabad, Pune, Bengaluru were ahead of Delhi. The Capital’s quality of life score is 51.22, slightly below the national average of 51.38.
Delhi secured the second position under the economic ability parameter followed by Pune and Ahmedabad. Bengaluru topped the list under this parameter in the category of million-plus population cities. The parameter was assessed on two categories: economic opportunities and level of economic development. “Delhi is the only positive outlier in this category with a perfect score, followed by Bengaluru and Hyderabad,” according to the report.
Rajat Kathuria, director and chief executive, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), said, “It is not surprising that Delhi is one of the top cities under economic abilities category. There are a lot of employment opportunities in the national capital. A lot of people come here from different parts of the country in search of jobs.”
The city has also performed well in the housing and shelter category. Delhi, along with Thiruvananthapuram, Puducherry and Bhopal has emerged as perfect positive outliers in the housing category. According to the report, all households in these cities have electrical connections, and all identified beneficiaries are covered under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).
However, Delhi performed badly on parameters of safety and security, mobility, stormwater drainage, green spaces, etc.
According to the report, Delhi, Faridabad, Indore, Gwalior, Ranchi are among 13 million-plus cities which have performed below the national average in the safety and security category. Among the 49 cities, Delhi was ranked at 40th position in terms of safety and security.
In the mobility category, too, Delhi is among the cities such as Bengaluru, Pune, Navi Mumbai, Ahmedabad where the availability of public transport per lakh population was not up to the mark. Delhi ranked 28th in the list. According to the report, “Firstly, the public transport system is not efficient enough to support the population of respective cities; and secondly, these cities may be ‘automobile-dependent’ for increased mobility fostered by rapid economic growth that encourages private vehicle ownership.”
Kathuria said while Delhi attracts a lot of people due to better economic opportunities, it also adds to the pressure on the city’s resources. “A lot of people which come to the city due to the economic opportunities. This also puts a lot of the city’s infrastructure, as the population is increasing. The city is always playing catch-up in providing essential services. In transport, for instance, the public transport infrastructure has not kept pace with the increase in population. Metro has provided some relief, but it is not enough. There is a need to now plan the cities in such a way that people live closer to workplaces and can use public transport for commuting.”