Urbanisation Current Affairs
The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs (MoHUA) launched the Liveability index to rate 116 Indian cities.
Liveability index is tool that aims to measure quality of life in 99 smart cities, capital cities and those with a population of over one million. It will be funded by the World Bank and ranking of these cities is expected to be ready by June 2018.
The index is set of indicators to assess the liveability standards in cities. It will measure the quality of life in 116 major cities including capital cities and those with population over one million. It will assess cities on comprehensive set of 79 parameters. Marks scored will decide the quantum of incentive. These 79 parameters (57 core indicators and 22 supporting indicators) are based on four broad pillars: physical (weightage 45%), institutional (25%), social (25%) and economic (5%).
These parameters includes local governance, education, employment, social infrastructure, health, safety, physical infrastructure such as housing, availability of open spaces, security, land use, energy, availability of water, solid waste management, pollution, etc.
IPSOS Research Private Limited in alliance with Athena Infonomics India Private Limited and Economist Group Limited were selected for assessing the liveability indices in 116 cities. They were selected through an international bidding process under World Bank-funded Capacity Building for Urban Development (CBUD) program. This assessment will be conducted along with Economic Intelligence Unit of The Economist, a London-based weekly that has already developed a liveability ranking for 140 cities globally.
The rating will help cities attain a liveable city status, get them more investments and improve tourism. It will also serve as a knowledge base for taking policy decisions and for planning. The index marks shift to data driven approach to urbanisation and promote competitive spirit among cities.
These indicators are organised in 15 distinct categories, designed for measuring various institutional, social, economic and physical aspects that affect quality of life of citizens and determine the liveability of city.
The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MHUA) has ordered review of Floor Space Index (FSI) and Floor Area Ratio (FAR) norms in mega cities of country.
FSI is ratio of building’s total floor area to size of piece of land on which it is built.
The review will be taken up in time bound manner in all 53 cities with population of 1 million and above each. Moreover, similar review will be also undertaken for State Capitals with less than million population in due course. The review will be taken up in consultation with States and cities is to cover an assessment of the existing norms and to what extent it could be enhanced.
Need for review
NITI Ayog in its report had illustrated deleterious effects of restrictive FSI by comparing Mumbai and Shanghai (in China). In 1984, Shanghai had only 3.65 sq.mt of space per person. But through liberal use of FSI, it has increased available space to 34 sq.mt per person despite increase in population. In contrast, Mumbai on average just had 4.50 sq.mt of space per person in 2009.
Based on this assessment, NITI Aayog had called for review of FSI/FSA to give properly planned push to urban development in country. In Indian cities, FSA is generally about 1.50, which is said to be on the lower side given the needs of rapid urbanization. Besides, availability of land in urban areas is critical to meet demand for affordable housing projects under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).