Chandigarh fifth most livable city in country

Union ministry of housing and urban affairs ranks 111 cities across nation in first such exercise
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON AUG 14, 2018 11:09 AM IST

The City Beautiful — first planned city of the independent India — is fifth most livable city in the country, according to the ranking of 111 cities on the Ease of Living Index released by the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs on Monday. Chandigarh scored 53.16 marks out of the total 100.

Three cities of Maharashtra – Pune, Navi Mumbai and Greater Mumbai – have grabbed the top three spots followed by Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh.

The Ease of Living Index is based on four parameters: governance, social institutions, economic and physical infrastructure. This was the first-ever exercise undertaken by the Centre in this direction.

The evaluation of cities was done on a 100-point scale across 78 indicators. While institutional and social parameters carried 25 points each, 45 points were allocated to physical parameters and the remaining five to economic parameters.

Lags behind in governance

The main reason for the city’s failure in getting a better rank is its poor performance in the institutions and governance category. It found no place on this parameter that included percentage of citizen services available online, citizens using online services, services integrated through command centre, average delay in grievance redressal, tax collected as percentage of tax billed and extent of cost recovery in water supply services.

“It is unfortunate that the city has fared so poorly. Citizens are not getting basic amenities. Officers just sit in their air-conditioned rooms and are not aware of ground realities,” said Baljinder Singh Bittu, chairman of the Federation of Sectors Welfare Associations of Chandigarh (FOSWAC), which is the apex body of resident welfare associations in the city.

Meanwhile, in the economic category, Chandigarh is on top among the 111 cities, and in social institution’s and physical infrastructure categories, it is fourth.

The economic category evaluated the cities on increase in tax collection and construction permits, unemployment rate and percentage of vendors registered and provided formal spaces.

The social category included restoration and reuse of historic buildings and ecologically important areas, hotel occupancy and budget allocated to cultural and sports activities besides education, health and security.

The physical infrastructure, which had the maximum weightage, comprised percentage of slums covered under affordable housing and basic services besides per capita availability of green spaces and public and recreational places. It also included power supply, transportation and mobility, assured water supply, wastewater management, solid waste management and pollution.

“We cannot compare Chandigarh with Pune or Mumbai as employment generation is much more there and even the population is higher. We did lag behind in a few categories, and will try our level best to improve,” said MC commissioner KK Yadav.

Mayor Davesh Moudgil, too, talked of efforts being made by the civic body to bring the city on top, at least in terms of cleanliness, which helped it jump from No. 11 to No. 3 in the Swachh Survekshan 2018.

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