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Ease of living index: Pune is the most liveable city in India

Government of India launched the ‘Ease of Living’ Index in January 2018 to help cities systematically assess themselves against global and national benchmarks and encourage them to shift towards an 'outcome-based' approach to urban planning and management. 

pune Updated: Aug 14, 2018 15:28 IST
Parth Welankar
Parth Welankar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,liveable city,Ease of living index
The Ease of living index considered the ‘Physical’ aspect as one of the four main pillars to be judged. This panoramic view of Pune shows the growth with greenery fighting for space.(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

Pune: According to the ranking of 111 cities on the Ease of Living Index released by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on Monday, Pune has bagged the first spot as the most livable city in the country.

Government of India launched the ‘Ease of Living’ Index in January 2018 to help cities systematically assess themselves against global and national benchmarks and encourage them to shift towards an 'outcome-based' approach to urban planning and management.

The score that a city receives is based on its performance on each indicator under that pillar, and the level of importance i.e., the weight assigned to each pillar and indicator. The pillar weights are Institutional with 25 points, Social with 25 points, Economy and Employment with 5 points, and Physical with (45 points).

Pune has bagged first spot with an average score of 58.11 points.

While the union governments have evaluated Pune as the most livable city, few weeks earlier the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had released the annual Environment Status Report (ESR) 2018 which had highlighted the fact that pollution from across the sectors in the city has only increased over the period of time.

Ergo, experts have suggested that although Pune is not in a very good shape, however, it is still better than other cities.

Prominent RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar said, “I don’t see any specific reason for us citizens to be very happy with the report published by the government of India saying Pune is the most livable city in the country. Denizens of the city are surrounded by numerous problems in the city. Every citizen encounter with the pathetic conditions of PMPML or poor waste management to innumerable potholes every day.”

HT has earlier carried a series of inefficient mass public transport which explicitly highlighted the loopholes in the systems.

According to Vivek Velankar, RTI activist and founder of city based NGO Sajak Nagrik Manch, such reports explicitly states two things that either other cities in the list are worse than Pune or we are the best of the worst.

He said, “I am amused with such reports stating Pune as the most livable city as every day citizens face numerous problems in almost all the important sectors like traffic and transportation, garbage disposal.”

While the city activists have criticised the central government’s report, prominent citizens from various other sectors have welcomed the Ease of living index.

Rahul Karad, Vice President MAEER's MIT said, “It is indeed a matter of pride that Pune as a city is a paradigm for the entire country to follow. With a very unique and exquisite flavour of its own, verily Pune is the most livable city in the country. Pune city has been on a journey of growth for decades.”

Education sector in the city is one of the driving force behind the city’s success. We have come a long way however, we still have a wide scope of development and growth in future, said Karad.

Although in the Economy and Employment sub index city has secured the fifth spot, however, the rankings have been appreciated by the industry experts.

Dr. Anant Sardeshmukh Director General and Member of the Board of Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) said, “The report by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is the true reflection of the city. Pune indeed is one of the most livable cities in the country. Economic growth in the city is at all-time high.”

He added, “Although there has been some reduction in new emplyement, however, the tremendous potential of the city in business per say cannot be trivialised. One of the area where the city lacks is the infrastructure development where there is a long way to go.”

While four cities of Maharashtra had place in the top 10 list, national capital New Delhi secured 65 spot on the index. States like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka having various big cities, found no representation in the top 10.

“Pune is indeed the most livable city in the country. We are proud and privileged to receive this honor. The entire credit goes to the citizens of Pune as their pro active involvement in the development of the city is one of the vital aspects behind this recognition. While they appreciate a particular developmental project, they are even better critic to another project if their are loopholes. This combined work between the civic administration and citizens is a representative model for others to follow which has led us national recognition,” said Siddharth Dhende, deputy mayor, PMC.

First Published: Aug 13, 2018 23:42 IST