New Delhi and Mumbai figure low on the list of prosperous cities across the globe, but have the potential to make it to the top rung, says a United Nation’s report.

Released in the city on Wednesday, the State of the World’s Cities report by the U.N. Habitat ranks New Delhi at 58 and while Mumbai has been placed at 52 among 95 cities. The reasons for Indian cities being ranked low is the poor status of development indicators like infrastructure, environmental conditions and avenues for employment.

Commenting on India’s ranking in the global list, Eduardo Lopez Moreno, chief author of the report, said New Delhi and Mumbai can be described as cities with “medium” performance. He blamed low productivity, and incapability of the cities to generate jobs and encourage trade and investment for their poor performance.

These cities are halfway to prosperity, but both have been penalised for poor environmental conditions, pollution etc. They still need to improve in all dimensions such as productivity, quality of life, adequate infrastructure, equity and environmental sustainability,” Mr. Moreno said.

The report classifies cities into groups, based on their performance, while India is in Group IV, countries in Europe and North America are in Group I, which has countries demonstrating better integrity of all dimensions (productivity, quality of life, adequate infrastructure, equity and environmental sustainability) and high volume of good services and economic fundamentals, Mr. Moreno pointed out.

Though the report focused primarily on New Delhi and Mumbai, it does mention the achievements in the IT sector in cities such as Bangalore, and Hyderabad’s position as the pharmaceutical capital of India.

On information and communications technology in Asian cities, the report says Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai feature mobile telephone connection rates of 138, 112, 102 and 143 per cent respectively.

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