New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) The central government on Friday launched the "City Liveability Index" - a first of its kind initiative introduced by the Urban Development Ministry - to measure the quality of life in 116 major cities including capital cities and those with population over one million.
"Time has now come to measure life quality in cities and rank them accordingly," Urban Development Minister M.Venkaiah Naidu said while launching the Index at a National Workshop on Urban Transformation.
The cities will be assessed on a comprehensive set of 79 parameters to capture the extent and quality of infrastructure including availability of roads, education and health care, mobility, employment opportunities, emergency response, grievance redressal, pollution, availability of open, green spaces, and culture.
After selecting the agency for undertaking this assessment next month, data collection will be completed in the next about six months, Naidu said.
On the occasion, the Urban Development Ministry also increased reform incentive fund for the next three financial years from Rs 900 crore to Rs 10,000 crore "to promote next generation reforms that would make a substantial difference to urban governance and service delivery and resource mobilization by urban local bodies," said Urban Development Secretary Rajiv Gauba.
The Ministry also disbursed Rs 500 crore as incentive to 16 states that performed well in implementing urban reforms during 2016-17.
Progress in respect of reforms like e-governance, audit of accounts, tax revision policies and extent of tax revenue collection, energy and water audit, establishing state level financial intermediaries for resource mobilisation and credit rating was taken into account.
Andhra Pradesh topped the list scoring 96.06 per cent marks. Others who received the incentive fund in order of merit were Odisha (95.38 per cent), Jharkhand (91.98 per cent), Chhattisgarh (91.37 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (90.20 per cent), Telangana (86.92 per cent) and Rajasthan (84.62 per cent).
Punjab also scored 77.02 per cent along with Kerala (75.73 per cent), Goa (75.38 per cent), Mizoram (75 per cent), Gujarat (73.80 per cent), Chandigarh (72.73 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (70.67 per cent) and Maharashtra (70.52 per cent).
Marks scored by these states were considered for deciding the quantum of incentive with high scorers getting more.