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Published on 2/14/2018 2:56:10 PM
Indian cities brace up for head on competition on liveability
If you think that Indian cities are apathetic towards liveability and there is no mechanism to track their performance, it’s time to change your opinion. Much like global cities, Indian cities too very soon are going to be rated as per the quality of life they offer to their citizens.

The Government of India, along with the various state and local governments is implementing the mission of ‘Liveability Standards in Cities’ with the overarching goal of the various missions and schemes to make Indian cities more ‘liveable’.

National Orientation Workshop was organised today in New Delhi to handover the states’ representatives the methodology and questionnaire for liveability assessment and a soft copy of data collection sheet where they can feed in the data. Meanwhile, the portal to collect the information will be live by March 10.

The 15 key indicators that decide the liveability of a city are –

1. Governance,

2. Identity and Culture

3. Education

4. Health

5. Safety and Security

6. Economy and Employment

7. Housing and Inclusiveness

8. Public Open Space

9. Mixed Land Use and Compactness

10. Power Supply

11. Transportation and Mobility

12. Assured Water Supply

13. Waste Water Management

14. Solid Waste Management

15. Reduced Pollution

“The assess ment of liveability indices is first of its kind being taken up globally in terms of scale and coverage by developing liveability index of 116 cities against 79 indicators covering approximately 13.4 crore people,” said Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State, Independent Charge, Housing and Urban Affairs.

This is an ambitious national project that will involve annual survey and compilation of a large number of datasets across the various indicators. Government has partnered with Ipsos Research, Athena Infonomics and The Economist Intelligence Unit to execute the mammoth task of collaborating the data from 116 cities and analysing it.

What’s on cards?

Ranking Indian cities on the criteria of liveability is one-of-its kind initiative in India. And Tuesday’s workshop was just a step forward in this direction. In the cities where the records are not much organised and there is scanty digitisation, fetching data for analysis is a tough road to take.

“We are working to engage the cities. It is important for them understand the significance of the surveys to assess liveability. There is political will and that reflects with the level of interest the key officials of the ministry are showing in it. By March 5, our teams will soon be on the ground conducting state-level workshops. We will collect the city-level data through surveys. The completion is tough as if cities don’t have data available with them, there are chances for them to lose out,” said Tripti Sharma, associate director, Ipsos Public Affairs.

The final date of submission for cities is April 10 and the cities have about two months only to mobilise the teams and gather the data to submit.

“Cities can review the formats and revert with feedback and suggestions. They should be ready with primary data and identify nodal people to work with us when we reach their cities,” said Deepa Karthykeyan, director, Athena Infonomics.

The challenges

Though every possible effort was made to explain the scope and significance of the key indices that are going to decide how the cities will fare in the contest of liveability, how much the cities will actually find ‘doable’ is yet to be seen.

Despite the fact that the representatives voted in ‘aye’ to convey that they agree with the parameters, they voiced out their concerns when they ascertained that they may face challenges in obtaining data from various agencies.

“The study will be conducted in the area under the purview of urban local bodies and the irony of most cities is that the chiefs of water, sewerage, electricity and other key services do not directly report to municipal commissioner. In this case collating data is a challenge. If we don’t get enough hands for the job, it means that I will have to run around various offices to collect data,” said Nalini Atul, joint managing director, Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development & Finance Corporation.

However, Dr Sameer Sharma, Additional Secretary, MoHUA assured the cities that they will get all the required help for collating data and a help desk will be set up to resolve their queries.

Now that Indian cities are getting ready for a unique completion to decide which one is the most ‘liveable’, the citizens after all.