While Delhi has emerged as the best Indian city in terms of quality of life and living standards, its satellite townships of Gurgaon and Noida have failed to keep pace with the development. The Capital comes on top in education, safety and economic environment; second in housing options, socio-cultural political environment but fares poorly in medical standards, says ‘The Liveability Index 2010'.

Prepared after rigorous study conducted by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Institute for Competitiveness, India (IFC), the index is indicative of several benchmarks for India's urban development and prosperity. While Delhi offers the best ‘quality of life', steel city Jamshedpur has been ranked lowest in the index that maps 37 cities on various parameters like living standard, socio-cultural environment, education, medical standards and recreational possibilities.

Coming close to the winner Delhi are the cities of Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Pune ranked 2nd to 8th respectively in overall quality of life ratings. Ironically the NCR region, which should have kept pace with the development of Delhi, has failed to do so as Gurgaon, Noida and Faridabad have been ranked 9th, 27th and 32nd respectively.

The report puts Delhi as the safest city followed by Bhopal and Bengaluru, while Gurgaon and Noida take up poor rank on safety. Delhi also tops the list in domains of education and economic environment followed by Mumbai and Bengaluru.

On education front, the poorest performers are Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Jaipur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Patna, and Vadodara. Mumbai gains the top rank in socio-political environment, followed by Delhi, Kolkata, Goa and Chennai. Mumbai leads in city planning followed by Chennai and Delhi.

In health and medical standards, Kozhikode, Trivandrum and Kochi find themselves on the top of the list, while Mumbai is 12{+t}{+h}, Delhi 17th and Bengaluru 18th. Lucknow, Noida and Patna (37th) are the last three ranked cities in providing convincing examples of health and medical standards.

Comparing house-cost and availability, urban household crowding and household incomes, the cities of Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Dehra Dun, Gurgaon, and Noida provide the best housing options. Faring poorly in this parameter are the cities of Vishakhapatnam, Nagpur, Coimbatore, Kolkata, Kochi, Nashik, and Vadodara.

Cities have to strongly emerge as engines of development for the economy. India has a total urban population of 28.5 crore and 35 metropolitan cities and metropolises, therefore with such huge numbers the issue of urban development in the country demands a proactive addressing of challenges and integrating the opportunities in the national polity agenda with a priority approach, the report said.

More In: Delhi