According to the Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems (ASICS) survey conducted by Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, Bhubaneswar came 18th in the list of 21 cities across 18 states surveyed in India.
The city of Mumbai topped the list while Thiruvananthapuram retained the second position. Delhi which had been ranked at the 5th position in 2014, slipped to 6th position in the recent survey.
The ASICS survey is conducted annually to asset the quality of life in Indian cities. It factors in the capability of city administration to deliver better quality of life over the medium and long term.
The cities were evaluated across 83 detailed parameters and 11 principal questions were used in the survey. The major sub-heads in the survey were urban planning and design (UPD), urban capacities and resources (UCR), empowered and legitimate political representation (ELPR) and transparency, accountability and participation (TAP).
In the survey, these questions were asked:
- How successfully has your city implemented its spatial development plan?
- Does your city have effective mechanisms to deter plan violations?
- Does your city encourage participatory planning?
- Is your city truly democratic?
- How well does your city address citizen complaints?
Here’s a list of cities as per their respective ranks in 2015 and 2014.
The overall rank and score of the top ten cities are as follows:
#1 – Mumbai – 4.2
#2 – Thiruvananthapuram – 4.2
#3 – Kolkata – 4.1
#4 – Pune – 4.1
#5 – Bhopal – 3.7
#6 – Delhi – 3.7
#7 – Chennai – 3.6
#8 – Kanpur – 3.6
#9 – Hyderabad – 3.6
#10 – Lucknow – 3.4
India Cities Fare Worse than Their Western Counterparts
According to the report, all the 21 cities had very low score when compared to cities such as London (9.4) and New York (9.4), indicating the need to push major reforms in municipal governance as pressure increases on major urban centers.
In fact, one of the few planned cities, Chandigarh, has the dubious distinction of being at the bottom for the second time in a row.
At a time when governments have been launching urban rejuvenation programs, in the same decade “floods in Mumbai, garbage crisis in Bangalore, and more recently air pollution levels in Delhi and Chennai floods are alarm bells that more of the same solutions i.e. a series of patchwork projects, will not suffice. Root causes need to identified and addressed; the disease needs to be treated and not just the symptoms.
Srikanth Viswanath, Janaagraha Coordinator
The survey has revealed how all Indian cities continue to score in the range of two to 4.2 on a scale of zero to 10, while London and New York have scored 9.4 and 9.7 respectively.
Cities that have made major improvements include Hyderabad, which has moved up from 17 to nine within a span of one year and Kanpur, which ranked at 14 in 2014, moving up six spots last year.
Similarly, Chennai made remarkable improvement, while Raipur and Surat slipped significantly in the list.
Reasons Why India Cities are Falling Behind
The survey said there are 12 cities which have laws dating back to the 1960s-1980s and none of the laws reflect current and long-term demands of urbanization.
The survey said most cities do not generate enough revenue surplus to finance their capex requirements, and are hence heavily dependent on state and Central grants.
The survey also observed that councillors lack resources to do their job effectively and are paid even less than Grade D employees.
These scores imply that Indian cities are grossly under-prepared to deliver a high quality of life that is sustainable in the long term. This is particularly worrisome, given the rapid pace of urbanisation in India and the huge backlog in public service delivery.
The aim of the report is to focus on flawed legislations, policies, processes and practices that lie at the root of poor quality of life in cities. They added that the scores imply that Indian cities are grossly under-prepared to deliver a high quality of life that is sustainable in the long term.
It has recommended major immediate and medium-term reforms in the areas of access to more buoyant revenue streams, comprehensive review of cadre and recruitment rules to get skilled manpower to meet expectations of people.
Courtesy: Times of India | Indian Express | Live Mint