Urban Governance Current Affairs
Andhra Pradesh has topped Ease of Living Index rankings under AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation). It was followed by Odisha and Madhya Pradesh. The three states were awarded best-performing states at National Dissemination Workshop on Ease of Living Index, 2018 held in New Delhi.
It is an urban transformation scheme with the focus of the urban renewal projects to establish infrastructure that could ensure adequate robust sewerage networks and water supply. It aims at ensuring robust sewage networks, water supply and other infrastructure to improve the quality of life of people in urban areas.
Ease of Living Index
The index was conceived by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in June 2017. It aims to help cities assess their liveability vis-a-vis global and national benchmarks and encourage them to move towards ‘outcome-based’ approach to urban planning and management.
It was launched to rank 116 cities that are smart city contenders, capital cities and cities with population of 1 million plus based on the liveability parameters. The first edition of index released in January 2018 had ranked 111 Indian cities and was topped by Pune.
It captures quality of life based on data collected from urban local bodies on four parameters, which were further broken down into 15 categories. It seeks to help cities undertake 360-degree assessment of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
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.
Pune was ranked first among 23 cities across India in terms of quality of urban governance in the fifth edition of Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems (ASICS) 2017 report released by Bengaluru-based non-profit organisation, Janaagraha.
The objective of survey was to measure preparedness of cities to deliver high quality infrastructure and services in long term by evaluating city systems. It spans 23 Indian cities and factors in answers to 89 questions. These questions are classified on four categories viz. urban planning & design, urban capacities & resources, transparency, accountability & participation and empowered & legitimate political representation. These cities were scored on a scale of 0 (lowest) to 10 (highest) based on quality of laws, policies, institutions and institutional processes that together help govern them. The report addresses five major issues, and suggests solutions at local body, State and Central government levels. It underlines need for sharp focus on City-Systems or institutional reforms to city governance in our cities.
Key Highlights of ASICS 2017
In it, Pune topped the list by scoring 5.1 out of 10 for the first time. It was followed by Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Bhubaneswar and Surat with scores in range of 4.6 to 4.5. Delhi moved 3 spots up to 6th place against 9th in 2016 survey. Mumbai’s ranking fell from 6th in 2016 to 9th in 2017. The worst performers in ASICS 2017 were Bengaluru (scoring the least at 3 out of 10), Chandigarh, Dehradun, Patna and Chennai. These constituted bottom five cities with scores ranging between 3 and 3.3 out of 10.