Indian cities have undergone rapid urbanisation as the proportion of the country’s urban population has increased manyfold in the past decade. While increasing urbanisation provides an opportunity for fuelling economic growth, it also poses challenges related to overcrowding, increased pollution and inadequate provision of basic services. To address these challenges, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has launched several initiatives such as the Swachh Bharat Mission, the Smart Cities Mission (SCM), the Atal Mission for Rural and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Housing for All) and the Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana (National Urban Livelihood Mission). These schemes have a common objective of improving the quality of life of urban citizens through effective urban governance, proper city planning, and modernising and upgrading basic urban infrastructure facilities such as water supply and sanitation, solid waste management, transportation, etc. However, despite concerted efforts, most Indian cities still fall short in terms of providing basic civic services. This is mainly because of the lack of proper project monitoring, non-availability of data on existing infrastructure facilities, and inadequate capacity and poor financial health of urban local bodies (ULBs). In this backdrop, the MoHUA developed the first-of-its-kind Ease of Living Index for 111 cities in August 2018. The index serves as a diagnostic tool to evaluate the performance of cities on various liveability indicators and draw comparisons using global and national benchmarks.Read More

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