Another feather in Andhra’s cap
Andhra Pradesh, which topped the Ease of Doing Business rankings, has one more reason to cheer. Tirupati and Vijayawada have made it to the top 10 livable cities in India, standing in fourth and ninth positions respectively on the first-ever national Ease of Living Index released recently by the Unio
Andhra Pradesh, which topped the Ease of Doing Business rankings, has one more reason to cheer. Tirupati and Vijayawada have made it to the top 10 livable cities in India, standing in fourth and ninth positions respectively on the first-ever national Ease of Living Index released recently by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. The temple town of Tirupati also emerged as the second safest city with low crime rates and good enforcement of law and order. Though opinion is divided with critics questioning the parameters applied for arriving at the rankings, the idea of having an Index is welcome as it fosters a spirit of competition and acts as an incentive for local bodies to perform better. It is all the more useful for a state like Andhra, struggling as it is to attract investments.
The cities were ranked on parameters such as governance, social and physical infrastructure, and economic factors. In an irony of sorts, Hyderabad, the loss of which still rankles Andhra, was ranked 27th, which beggars belief. Similarly, by no stretch of imagination can Mumbai be ranked 63rd among the 111 cities in the category of economy and employment. But it was! On a 100-point scale, if Hyderabad scored 43.13, Vijayawada got 49.27. To be fair, the latter’s performance in governance, health and solid waste management reflects in the rankings. Likewise, it gives a true picture of its poor physical infrastructure and average law and order—Vijayawada stood at the 100th spot in this respect.
The credit for making Tirupati, which hosts lakhs of pilgrims almost every day, the safest must go to the often vilified police department, which has introduced a slew of initiatives making it more approachable for the people. The rankings will carry more credibility if the scores are rooted in ground realities like this across all categories. It would also be better if targets are set and cities ranked accordingly. After all, the entire exercise is linked to the Sustainable Development Goals, meeting which is imperative any which way we look at it.