Pune’s problem: Better on sustainability, but low on economic ability, quality of life
PUNE While Pune has officially been tagged the second best among 49 cities in the country considered on the “Ease of Living Index”, released by the Centre on Thursday, there is a catch.
The Ease of Living Index for the year 2020 evaluated the well-being of Indian citizens in cities, across various parameters that consist of four pillars: quality of life, economic ability, sustainability, and citizens’ perception.
During the evaluation, Pune scored 58.10 on quality of life, which has a weightage of 35%; 48.88 on economic ability with a weightage of 15%; 75.74 on sustainability; and 66.27 on citizens’ perception.
For the last two pillars the weightage is 20% and 30% respectively. (See graphic)
There were 14 categories under these four pillars with 49 indicators. Among these 14 categories, such as green buildings, Pune has scored 100, while on safety and security, the score is above 90 and for resilience, 100.
On the other hand, on the economic opportunities front, Pune scored below 20, while at the same time the score for level of economic development was above 80. On health, it was less than 60 and for mobility, below 40.
Activists said the report rightly observed Pune’s key problem of mobility and poor public transport, along with garbage issues and a need for health facilities.
“Pune is following the industrial belt, but due to it being a non-capital city there are some limitations. Like other capital cities, Pune is not getting enough direct investment,” said a senior Pune Municipal Corporation official, on condition of anonymity.
Rajya Sabha MP from NCP Vandana Chavan said, “Overall Pune city is best on some parameters. There is natural potential in this city, though there are problems on the ground, such as mobility. Even today I raised the question of dumping on the riverbed.”
The PMC accepts that the city has enough health of infrastructure, but it is lying idle.
Pune’s big problem is garbage. Every year there are agitations over the issue. The existing solid waste management plants are not working aat full capacity.
According to Prashant Girbane, director-general, MCCIA, what is needed for the city is a constant follow up of major projects which have the potential to generate economic opportunities.
“Pune has scored very low on economic opportunities, mobility and recreation.
Pune has a dozen infrastructure projects announced worth more than ₹50,000 crore. A dashboard of monthly progress on each of these would help. Speedy execution of these would generate economic opportunities, especially for unskilled workers who are most impacted by the pandemic,” Girbane said.
College of Engineering Pune (COEP) director Prof B B Ahuja said, “Citizens of Pune are conscious of their responsibilities towards the growing needs of the city. Pune is regarded as the Oxford of the East and so more and more students come here for their academic careers. There is harmony among citizens. It is indeed a proud moment for all of us to get the 2nd rank in the country.”
Arun Adsul, former vice-chancellor of the SPPU said, “I have seen Pune developing over the last 50 years, earlier as a student, then as a professor and finally as the vice-chancellor of the university. It is indeed a good and liveable place for not only students, but for people of all ages.”