Finding based on survey by Mercer, a consultancy firm; Bangalore’s rating has risen from last year, the study said

On a list of 221 global cities surveyed, Chennai has been ranked 150, for the quality of living it provides.

The survey, conducted by Mercer, an international consultancy firm, studied five Indian cities and ranked Bangalore the best, followed by New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and finally, Kolkata.

The annual survey ranks the living conditions in cities based on parameters such as the political and social environment, socio-cultural environment as well as medical and educational facilities among 39 such factors. This year, the survey also ranked the infrastructure, specifically with regard to water, electricity, communication services, public transportation, and intra-city and international connectivity.

The survey primarily aims to help multi-national corporations post their employees in global cities, and help them determine their structure of compensation and incentives based on the quality of life available. For instance, companies would have to pay a lesser ‘hardship allowance’ to its employees in a city which ranks higher on the list.

The findings of the survey may have a direct implication on foreign companies looking to post employees in Chennai, as it places the city higher only to Kolkatta, despite the =Chennai, and Tamil Nadu being a forerunner in inviting foreign investment.

Bangalore on the other hand, has risen in the ratings from 141 in 2011, to 139 this year. In terms of city infrastructure, Mumbai trumps Bangalore, the survey reveals.

Bindu Menon, country-head, relocation services, Global Adjustments, a company working with expatriates, is not surprised by the findings. She said that Bangalore has an upper hand primarily because of the choice in international schools. “We only have one good international school in the city, and it is quite expensive,” she said, adding that there was a dire need for more choices and several good Cambridge-curriculum schools in the city.

Pascal Dupuis, general manager, The Leela Palace, Chennai, said, has been living in the city for close to one-and-a-half years. What he values most is that “almost all the expatriates know each other”, unlike New Delhi or Mumbai, where the community is spread apart. “There is the sea too, and it is a very agreeable city to live in. It is also well-connected in terms of international flights,” he said. However, for him Bangalore scores because of the schools and the weather.

Clio Marcetti, whose family has been running a popular Italian restaurant in the city for over a decade, felt that in terms of public transport, no city beats Mumbai. “But the traffic situation in Chennai is far better than in Bangalore,” she said.

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