City buzz: India’s most livable city, transport workers’ stir, opening of IKEA and more

WEEKLY URBAN NEWS ROUND-UP

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Pune city. Pic: Kailash Kumbhkar/CC BY-SA 4.0

Pune on top in MoHUA Ease of Living Index; how livable is your city?

Pune has emerged as the most livable city in India in a ranking of 111 cities, on the basis of the Ease of Living Index released by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. Three more cities in Maharashtra have made it to the top 10 in the list, namely Navi Mumbai, Greater Mumbai and Thane — at places 2,3 and 6 respectively. The national capital of New Delhi was placed at a low 65 on the list.

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In June 2017, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) had announced its intent to rank cities based on certain parameters that would help them assess their liveability vis-à-vis global and national benchmarks and also encourage them to move towards an ‘outcome-based’ approach to urban planning and management. The implementation of the assessment commenced formally in January 2018, covering 111 cities.

Apart from overall ranking, cities have also been ranked on the basis of their infrastructure in four separate pillars, namely Institutional, Social, Economic and Physical, which are further broken down into 15 categories and 78 indicators.

Source: Press Information Bureau | The Indian Express

Transport unions protest across the country

A day-long strike by transport workers against the changes proposed in the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017 affected the states of Kerala, Haryana and Tamil Nadu the most.

The transport workers are opposed to certain provisions of the Bill which they view as favourable to the tacit entry of private players in the business largely controlled by the state. The creation of a National Transportation Policy which will give more power to the Centre on the state subject also came under fierce opposition. The workers and unions also cited a threat to their jobs by aggregators such as Ola and Uber under the new bill.

Source: Livemint | Scroll.in

Delhi to get more CCTVs

The Delhi cabinet passed the proposal for installing CCTV cameras across the national capital. Amidst the tussle between the Delhi government and the office of the Lieutenant Governor, the cabinet gave a nod for the project which constituted one of the poll promises of the AAP government. The cost of the project is estimated at 571 crores. The Government plans to install close to 1.5 lakh CCTV cameras. Women’s safety is cited as the key reason behind the move as Delhi sees a soaring crime rate against women.

The move has however come under some criticism as it is seen as possible violation of the right to privacy of citizens. In the absence of a robust law for data protection, the CCTV proliferation could become a tool for profiling and surveillance by the state with very little recourse for citizens.

Source: The Times of India | The Hindu | Citizen Matters

IKEA opens in Hyderabad to traffic snarls and a stampede-like situation

Swedish company IKEA opened its shutters for the first time in India with a sprawling 400,000 sq ft store in Hyderabad. The retail behemoth plans to open 25 stores in the country by 2025. The opening day saw massive crowds with people thronging the store from all parts of the country.

Close to 40,000 people reportedly visited the store on its opening day, leading to traffic snarls all day in the roads leading to and from the store. Additional forces had to be deployed by the Cyberabad police to manage traffic and crowds close to the store. The unprecedented crowd led to a near stampede-like situation in the entry way as the employees struggled to manage the flow. A traffic advisory was issued by the Cyberabad police to curb snarls and guide vehicles to designated parking spots near the store.

Source: News18 | Business Today | The Economic Times | The Times of India

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation to launch new sanitation programme

With a view to consolidating its progress on the sanitation front and improve it further, Ahmedabad has announced its plans to launch of MISAAL, a programme supported by the Government of India and United States Agency for International Development.

According to Rakesh Shankar, deputy municipal commissioner, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), MISAAL will align its activities with the Swachh Bharat Mission help the city to sustain the Open Defecation Free status.  The agenda of the programme includes sanitation mapping, preparing IT-based knowledge management tools, capacity building of municipal functionaries through e-learning, and parterships with national and international cities.

Source: DNA

(Compiled by Aruna Natarajan)