India’s IT city Bengaluru has emerged as the top performer in the million-plus category of the Ease of Living Index making it the most livable cities among 111 cities in India, followed by Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Surat, Navi Mumbai, Coimbatore, Vadodara, Indore, and Greater Mumbai.
In the less than million category, Shimla is ranked the highest in the ease of living category, followed by Bhubaneshwar, Silvassa, Kakinada, Salem, Vellore, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Davangere, and Tiruchirappalli.
Of the 49 cities ranked on livability index in the 'million-plus population' category, Delhi figures in the 13th spot and Srinagar at the bottom.
Housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri announced the release of the final rankings of Ease of Living Index (EoLI) 2020 and the Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2020 on March 4 in an online event. Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, MoHUA and senior officials of the Ministry were also present at the event.
“…As we pick ourselves and our nation up from the devastation of the COVID-19, the livability of cities has assumed an even greater significance. Functional cities that provide adequate and equitable supply of basic resources like water, sanitation and electricity, economic opportunities to its residents as well as ensure environmental sustainability will be the ones that sustain us through any other future calamities,” Puri said at the event.
“This year, Bengaluru and Shimla have topped the Ease of Living Index among cities having over a million population and cities having less than a million population, respectively. In Municipal Performance Index, the top cities are Indore among municipalities with over a million population and New Delhi Municipal Council among municipalities with less a million population. These cities have emerged as models of development who will inspire others to perform better. Further, their peers will also benefit from emulating their best practices strategies,” he said.
The parameters for evaluating the cities are also in consonance with the Sustainable Development Goals. The Government of India has committed to Agenda 2030, that is, achieving the SDG targets by 2030.
“Since India is registering rapid urbanisation, the performance of cities will predominantly determine India’s prospects of achieving the targets. Thus, by gauging the capacity of cities to achieve the SDG targets, the Ease of Living Index will help track SDGs on the city level and in the process, provide an overview of India’s progress on a whole,” he added.
According to the index, Shimla topped the category of cities with 'population less than million'. In this category, Bhubaneshwar was ranked second, Silvassa came third, and they were followed by Kakinada, Salem, Vellore, Gandhinagar, Gurgaon, Davangere and Tiruchirapalli.
Muzaffarpur figured at the bottom of the livability index for 62 cities in the 'less than million population' category. New Delhi Municipal Council topped the 'Municipal Performance Index' in the 'less than million' population category. It is followed by Tirupati, Gandhinagar, Karnal, Salem, Tiruppur, Bilaspur, Udaipur, Jhansi and Tirunelveli.
Indore topped the 'Municipal Performance Index' in the million-plus population category. In this category, Surat came second, followed by Bhopal, Pimpri Chinchawad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Raipur, Greater Mumbai, Visakhapatnam and Vadodara.
The rankings under Ease of Living Index 2020 were announced for cities with a population of more than a million, and cities with less than a million people. 111 cities participated in the assessment exercise that was conducted in 2020.
The Ease of Living Index (EoLI) is an assessment tool that evaluates the quality of life and the impact of various initiatives for urban development. It provides a comprehensive understanding of participating cities across India based on quality of life, economic-ability of a city, and its sustainability and resilience. The assessment also incorporates the residents' view on the services provided by city administration through a Citizen Perception Survey.
Similar to the EoLI index, the assessment framework under The Municipal Performance Index (MPI) has classified municipalities based on their population – million plus (municipalities having over a million population) and less than million population. In the million-plus category, Indore has emerged as the highest ranked municipality, followed by Surat and Bhopal. In the less than Million category, New Delhi Municipal Council has emerged as the leader, followed by Tirupati and Gandhinagar.
The MPI examined the sectoral performance of 111 municipalities (with Delhi being assessed separately for NDMC, and the three municipal corporations) across five verticals which comprises 20 sectors and 100 indicators in all totality. The five verticals under MPI are services, finance, policy, technology and governance.
The analysis categorises them into million plus populated cities (those with a population of more than a million) and less than million populated cites (those with a population of less than a million) along with all the cities under the Smart Cities Program.
The Municipal Performance Index (MPI) was launched as an accompaniment to the Ease of Living Index. It seeks to examine local government practice in municipalities across areas of services, finance, policy, technology and governance.
These indices provide a holistic assessment of cities based on their efforts to cultivate better quality of life, create infrastructure, and address challenges of urbanisation. The framework for these assessments were prepared by MoHUA with the Institute for Competitiveness as the knowledge partner, the ministry said.
The EoLI 2020 consolidates the framework with the addition of a Citizen Perception Survey in the index, holding a weightage of 30 percent. It, therefore, examines the outcomes that lead to existing living conditions through pillars of Quality of Life, Economic Ability, Sustainability, spanning across 13 categories of - Education, Health, Housing and Shelter, WASH and SWM, Mobility, Safety and Security, Recreation, Level of Economic Development, Economic Opportunities, Environment, Green Spaces, and Buildings, Energy Consumption, and City Resilience, that account for 70 percent of the overall outcome.
The Citizen Perception Survey (CPS) was undertaken to help validate citizens' experience of their city in terms of service delivery. The assessment was conducted from January 16, 2020 until March 20, 2020. A total of 32.2 lakh citizens from 111 cities participated in the survey. Bhubaneshwar had the highest CPS score, followed by Silvassa, Davangere, Kakinada, Bilaspur and Bhagalpur.