Which Indian city is the most liveable? There is always a subjective angle when it comes to assessing liveability. What works for someone may not for another individual. Yet, there are a few universal parameters that always indicate liveability scores to a large extent. There has been a long running debate on which major Indian city offers the highest liveability levels.
Several studies, reports and experts have opined that there are several ways of judging this paradigm. Cities have always been the major sources of economic growth and progress in the country over several decades now. The biggest urban cities have been major sources of consumption and offer more employment opportunities in comparison to smaller cities, towns and rural areas. However, there are several issues confronted by the country’s biggest cities in recent times. These include pollution and air quality, congested transportation and roads, costly housing and many more.
The magnitude of these issues will naturally differ from one city to another. Yet, it is really tough to work out overall liveability since one city has poor air quality, one ranks poorly on traffic and congestion and one ranks badly when it comes to home affordability. 6 of India’s biggest cities, namely Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata can however be mapped for liveability quotients on the basis of a few key parameters.
Southern markets score big in terms of liveability
Southern metro cities, namely Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai score much higher on the liveability scale than the other metros, namely Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata as per several experts and reports alike. Hyderabad has a high score and is possibly the city with the highest liveability index in the country. This is because of the faster commute times and speeds and overall attractiveness for the migrant population in addition to the lower home rentals and better access to vital social infrastructure and amenities.
Bangalore comes in at second place as per studies, with its lower caste demarcation levels, happening dining and entertainment circuit, cleaner air quality and of course, the higher greenery throughout the city. Delhi does well when it comes to public transportation facilities and green spaces throughout the city while Kolkata does well on the same counts too. Lower pollution levels are another winner for Kolkata and Mumbai alike. Yet, the overall scores are slightly lower due to a few issues faced by all three non-southern metros.
Lower speeds for commutes is something that plagues Kolkata while there are higher levels of caste based segregation and it remains unattractive to the migrant population. Delhi has poor levels of pollution while scoring lower when it comes to overall attractiveness for migrant workers and also in terms of municipal funding. Mumbai scores lower due to its highest home rentals, lower speeds for commutes and lack of green zones/spaces.
Some aspects worth noting
A city is considered truly liveable in case it offers clean air, ample greenery, lower commute times and well-developed public transportation along with access to good social amenities and also good civic facilities. There should be good municipal systems in place along with attractive factors for incoming migrants. Pollution levels should be lower while the city should also offer reasonably priced home rentals and more diversity in terms of zero segregation on the basis of caste/religion.
These are aspects which truly differentiate a liveable city from the rest. In case of India’s major metros, all of them have their own merits but clear demerits as well. The southern metro cities seem to be ahead of the pack at the moment with their increasing appeal for migrant professionals from other parts of the city, relatively cleaner and greener surroundings and of course, better infrastructure access and amenities. Hyderabad is already witnessing higher demand in its residential real estate market while Bangalore remains steady. Chennai is also doing well. This is a clear indicator of the better liveability quotient of these cities. Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata will always remain attractive metro cities but they need to work on more liveability aspects to rank at par with their southern counterparts. Hyderabad, for now, as per several studies and experts, is the country’s most liveable city indeed.