Pune (Maharashtra) ranked first among 116 cities (with population of 1 million plus) in Ease of Living Index released by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA). Besides, two more Maharashtra cities — Navi Mumbai and Greater Mumbai — figure in the second and third spots The index exercise was launched in January 2018 by MoHUA with help of the consortium of IPSOS Research Pvt Ltd, Athena Infonomics, and Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
Top 10 cities are (rank order) are Pune, Navi Mumbai, Greater Mumbai, Tirupati, Chandigarh, Thane, Raipur, Indore, Vijaywada and Bhopal. Among other major cities, Chennai ranked 14th rank, Ahmedabad 23rd, Hyderabad 27th, Varanasi 33rd, Bengaluru 58th and Delhi 65th. Rampur in Uttar Pradesh was ranked worst on the scale and also Kohima and Patna on bottom two and three ranks while. Kolkata was excluded from index, as West Bengal Government had refused to participate in rankings, just as it has done with all other urban schemes.
Ease of Living Index
The index conceived in June 2017 aims to help cities assess their liveability vis-a-vis global and national benchmarks and encourage cities to move towards an ‘outcome-based’ approach to urban planning and management. It covers 111 cities that are smart city contenders, capital cities and cities with population of 1 million plus. It captures quality of life based on data collected from urban local bodies on four parameters, which were further broken down into 15 categories. The four parameters include institutional (governance), social (identity, education, health, security), economic ( economy, employment) and physical factors (waste water and solid waste management, pollution, housing/ inclusiveness, mixed land use, power and water supply, transport, public open spaces). Institutional and social parameters carry 25 points each, physical factors have weightage of 45 points and economic factors 5 points totalling to 100 mark scale on which cities were evaluated.
The index aims to help cities attain liveable city status, get them more investments and improve tourism. It also seeks to serve as knowledge base for taking policy decisions and for planning. It also marks shift to data driven approach to urbanisation and promote competitive spirit among cities.