Monday, May 15, 2017

Pune falls back on heritage in ‘most liveable cities’ race


PUNE: Pune aspires to become one of the most liveable cities in India by leveraging its rich cultural and natural heritage, strong human capital and robust business environment. Of course, the city's claim will be assessed by the central government on the basis of various parameters.

As per the mission statement of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), the civic administration wants to convert the city into a bustling business and education hub and attract investments and skilled people by solving its core infrastructure issues in a "future-proof" way, and by making its neighbourhood beautiful, clean, green and liveable.

The ministry of urban development will check the city's claim of liveability along with other cities in India by launching the liveability index next month. The process will be based on indigenously evolved index and the cities will be assessed on 15 core parameters.

Rajiv Gauba, secretary, Union urban development, made the announcement recently. To start with, liveability standards of 140 cities, including 53 cities with population of one million and above, and smart cities, including Pune, will be assessed.

The Union urban development ministry has already invited bids for selection of the agency for carrying out the assessment based on the parameters evolved by the government.

Cities will be assessed on 15 core parameters relating to governance, social infrastructure pertaining to education, health and safety and security, economic aspects and physical infrastructure like housing, open spaces, land use, energy and water availability, solid waste management, pollution etc. Cities will be ranked based on the liveability index that would cover a total of 79 aspects.

The ministry of urban development has come out with a detailed document on "Methodology for Collection and Computation of Liveability Standards in Cities" for the benefit of states and cities, mentioned the press statement issued by the ministry.

"A sense of healthy competition is being promoted among cities and towns in the country to focus attention on improving governance and infrastructure availability. More than providing funds to state governments, the ministry of urban development is according priority for incentivising implementation of reforms that have a far reaching impact on governance and service delivery" said Gauba in a press statement.

Stressing on the need for decentralisation and empowering of city governments, Gauba added that "cities can't be run and managed from state capitals and secretariats. They should be made to stand on their own for improving performance, responsibility and accountability".

Pune guardian minister Girish Bapat said that the state government was putting maximum efforts in the form of assistance and funds so that Pune city gets world class infrastructure, which will improve the quality of life. "The city is part of the Smart City Mission and the state will ensure that it becomes one of the best liveable cities in India," said Bapat. 


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