New Delhi: Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Madhya Pradesh were awarded the best performing states in terms of “Ease of Living Index” under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) at the National Dissemination Workshop on Ease of Living Index, 2018, here, the Union Housing and Urban Affairs ministry said on Monday.
Kakinada, Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, and Vijayawada cities of Andhra Pradesh; Indore, Bhopal, Ujjain, Satna, Sagar, Jabalpur and Gwalior of Madhya Pradesh and Bhubaneswar and Rourkela from Odisha were covered under the Ease of Living Index.
“The Ease of Living Index is a transformative initiative of the Ministry to help the cities assess their liveability vis-a-vis national and global benchmarks,” stated Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, while presenting the awards to the states.
Addressing the participants, Puri exuded confidence that the Ease of Living Index will encourage all cities to move towards an ‘outcome-based’ approach to urban planning and management and promote healthy competition among cities.
Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary MoHUA, Shiv Das Meena, Additional Secretary, and Mission heads under Urban Affairs, urban planners from states and Union Territories attended the workshop.
“This exercise marked a major milestone in India’s goal to promote evidence-based planning and action towards sustainable urbanization,” Puri said.
“The ‘Ease of Living’ Index seeks to assist cities in undertaking a 360-degree assessment of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats”, he added.
It was decided in June 2017 to rank 116 cities (all smart cities and million plus cities) based on the liveability parameters. The implementation of the assessment commenced formally on 19 January 2018.
The MoHUA released the first ever ‘Ease of Living Index’ covering 111 Indian cities on 13 August 2018, which serves as a litmus test to help assess the progress made in cities through various initiatives.
All cities were evaluated out of 100. The ‘physical’ pillar (infrastructure) was given the highest weightage of 45, while institutional (governance) and social were weighted 25 each. The economy was weighted 5.
These categories are further divided into 78 indicators across 15 categories (governance, identity, and culture, education, health, safety and security, economy, affordable housing, land use planning, public open spaces, transportation, and mobility, assured water supply, waste-water management, solid waste management, power, and quality of environment).
“Another highlight of the Ease of Living assessment standards is its close linkage with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Of the 17 SDG goals, 8 goals are directly linked to India’s ease of living assessment framework with SDG 11” the minister said.
The minister highlighted that SDG 11 is aimed at making our cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable and is measured through a set of 30 indicators. He said, “the ease of living index provides a strong impetus to India’s effort for systematically tracking the progress of SDGs in the urban areas.”