Jammu, Srinagar among worst livable cities in India

Nishikant Khajuria
JAMMU, Aug 13: Jammu and Srinagar, the capital cities of the J&K State, are among worst livable cities in India as both of them have been ranked at the lowest in the Ease of Living Index, released by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
According to the ranking of total 111 cities of India on the Ease of Living Index, Jammu has been ranked at 95th and Srinagar at 100th place with their respective overall score of 25.71 and 22.71.
Three cities of Maharashtra – Pune, Navi Mumbai and Greater Mumbai – are the most livable places in the country while New Delhi ranked a lowly 65th in the Government’s Ease of Living Index.
The Ease of Living framework comprises four pillars, namely Institutional, Social, Economic and Physical which have been further broken down into 15 categories and 78 indicators. .
Jammu has scored 3.39 points in Institutional, 9.92 in Social, 1.04 in Economic and 11.36 in Physical pillars while Srinagar has scored 3.54 in Institutional,   8.11 in Social, 1.69 in Economic and 9.37 in Physical aspect.
The Ease of Living Index is an initiative of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to help cities assess their livability vis-à-vis global and national benchmarks and encourage cities to move towards an ‘outcome-based’ approach to urban planning and management. It was decided in June 2017 to rank cities based on the livability parameters. The implementation of the assessment commenced formally on January 19, 2018 covering 111 cities.
Evaluation of cities has been done on a 100-point scale across the 78 indicators with the Institutional and Social pillars carrying 25 points each, 5 points for the pillar on Economic and 45 points for the Physical pillar.
Jammu City with a geographical area of 112 square km and 5.76 lakh population has scored only 25.71points, which include 3.39 for Governance, 1.66 for Identity and Culture, 3 for Education, 2.06  for Health, 3.2 for Safety and Security, 1.04 for Economy and Employment, 0.98 for Housing and Inclusiveness,  1.5 for Public Open Spaces, 1.92 for Mixed Land Use and Compactness, 0.69 for Power Supply, 0 for Transportation and Mobility, 1.83 for Assured Water Supply, 1.0 for Waste Water Management, 1.18 for Solid Waste Management and 2.26 for Reduced Pollution.
Srinagar City, with a geographical area of 246 square km and 12.06 lakh population,  has scored 3.54 for Governance, 0.01 for Identity and Culture, 1.65 for Education, 3.71  for Health, 2.74  for Safety and Security, 1.69 for Economy and Employment, 0.17 for Housing and Inclusiveness,  0.32 for Public Open Spaces, 0.01 for Mixed Land Use and Compactness, 0.81 for Power Supply, 1.47 for Transportation and Mobility, 2.1 for Assured Water Supply, 2.17 for Waste Water Management, 0.94 for Solid Waste Management and 1.37  for Reduced Pollution.
The evaluation exercise was carried out on a mass scale and began with a National Orientation Workshop to orient city officials on assessment framework. It was followed by 33 State level workshops spread across all 36 States and Union Territories.
A data entry portal and a monitoring dashboard for real time update on progress were established. The cities submitted data on more than 50000 points. Secondary audit of 10,000 documents, physical audit of 14,000 units and survey of more than 60,000 citizens was completed which led to finalization of ease of living index.
The Ease of Living assessment standards are closely linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and will provide a strong impetus to India’s effort for systematic tracking progress of SDGs in the urban areas. Of the 17 SDG goals, 8 goals are directly linked to India’s ease of living assessment framework with SDG 11 that is aimed at making Indian cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable being measured through a set of 30 indicators.