Pune best, Bengaluru worst in terms of urban governance

Delhi with a population of 18 million figured in the sixth position – behind smaller cities like Bhubaneswar and Surat

Delhi with a population of 18 million figured in the sixth position – behind smaller cities like Bhubaneswar and Surat

The study, which evaluates quality of governance in cities in its 2017 edition, covered 23 major cities across India based on 89 questions.

The cities scored between 3.0 and 5.1 on a scale of 10.

While Pune has topped in urban governance with a score of 5.1 out of 10 based on a 23-city survey done by Bengaluru-based advocacy group Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, city activists, however, said they find it hard to digest.

For instance, London and NY scored 8.8 out of 10, indicating that these cities have the best local administrative system to address the civic issues, Nair said.

The survey looked at governance in other countries to explain where Indian metros stand when compared with some mega cities elsewhere. Johannesburg in South Africa, London in the United Kingdom and NY in the USA scored 7.6, 8.8 and 8.8 respectively. These are: lack of a modern, contemporary framework of spatial planning of cities and design standards for public utilities, weak finances (in terms of financial sustainability and financial accountability of cities), poor human resource management (in terms of number of staff, skills, competency of staff, organisation design and performance management), powerless mayors, city councils and severe fragmentation of governance across municipalities, parasitical agencies and State departments, and total absence of systematic citizen participation and transparency.

The bottom five cities on the list were Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Patna and Chennai, with scores ranging between 3 and 3.3 out of 10. The report is based on a study of urban bodies and an analysis of laws, policies and RTI replies. "There is a marginal improvement, but the rate is slow compared to the rate at which problems in the cities are growing", JCCD CEO Srikanth Viswanathan said while releasing the fifth edition of the survey here. "If we have aspirations of high economic growth, job creation and giving a better quality of life (to the people), we have to address these problems on a war-footing", he said. The better a city scores in the ASICS survey, the more likely that it will be able to deliver better quality of life to citizens over medium and long term.

Nagrik Chetna Manch president, Maj Gen SCN Jatar (retd), said, the recurring floods, garbage crises, fire accidents, building collapses, air pollution and dengue outbreaks were only symptoms of the deeper governance crisis in our cities, including in Pune. The report underlines the need for sharp focus on city-systems or institutional reforms to city governance in our cities.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

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