Bengaluru

Bengaluru ranks high on Ease of Living Index

While the criteria in 2018 focused on governance parameters, criteria for 2020 includes several questions on individual choices and priorities by citizens.   | Photo Credit: MURALI KUMAR K

Bengaluru being adjudged the most liveable large city in the Ease of Living Index (EoLI) 2020, a meteoric improvement from 58th position in 2018, was met with puzzlement by many experts and opposition parties, even as the ruling BJP claimed credit.

Several urban experts have questioned the ‘most liveable large city’ tag. “Clearly, such surveys based on non-existent methodologies are driven by deeply political agendas. Anyone living in Bengaluru knows how seriously degraded the city is. With equitable access to basic amenities like water, roads and public transport being in shambles, such surveys and rankings hold no meaning,” said Leo F. Saldanha of the Environment Support Group.

The review criteria for EoLI-2020 significantly deviates from that of 2018. While the criteria in 2018 focused more on governance parameters, criteria for 2020 includes several questions on individual choices and priorities by citizens. Given the legacy of the city, Bengaluru has scored high on these parameters, civic sources said.

“An index measures what we seek to measure. Service deliverability, infrastructure and governance are among the key factors to be measured. If the index is not reflective of the ground reality, it will only lose credibility,” said urbanist Ashwin Mahesh.

“Collectively, we have done little to fix the large governance deficit in the city over the last two years. Even the new BBMP Act, 2020 has failed to stand up to the occasion. In such a scenario, what prompted this big leap in the ranking is puzzling,” said Congress MLA Krishna Byre Gowda. The high ranking in EoLI is accompanied by a poor below average performance in the Municipal Performance Index (MPI) – 31st rank among 51 large cities – also released on Thursday, indicating the ‘governance deficit’ in the city Mr. Byre Gowda points out.

The city has scored below average in planning and finances while it has scored on par with the average of 51 large cities in services and technology, and more than average in governance. The IT capital was ranked 25 among 51 large cities on adoption of technology in municipal administration, much below cities like Indore, Bareilly, Surat and Bhopal.

“Given the evaluation criteria for EoLI-2020, the top ranking in Ease of Living is more a reflection of the city’s history and legacy. We cannot rest on that laurel as the poor show in MPI is a diagnosis of the future of the city that we need to fix,” said Srikanth Viswanathan, CEO, Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy.

Civic Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad, while expressing happiness over being adjudged the most liveable large city, said the challenge was to retain the ranking. “Our performance in MPI has not been satisfactory. The MPI is calculated on nearly 100 criteria. We will review our performance in each of these criteria and initiate measures to improve ourselves,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 6:04:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/bengaluru-ranks-high-on-ease-of-living-index/article33991816.ece

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