CPPR Chairman Dr D Dhanuraj comments in a article published in The Times of India on Citizen perception survey for the next edition of Ease of Living index which is underway in Kochi. He says that we should not take such surveys beyond it’s face value. “I think we should not get trapped into this ranking business as cities are not comparable for historical, social and administrative reasons. These rankings give some insights but should not be used to compare cities.”
With the ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA) announcing its next edition of the Ease of Living Index (EoLI) by incorporating a citizen perception survey to rank 114 cities in the country, district administration along with the Cochin Smart City Mission Ltd (CSML) and Kochi corporation have appealed to the citizens to participate in the survey and give good ranking to the city.
District collector S Suhas on Wednesday sent out a public appeal asking people to participate in the citizen survey to rank the city. CSML managing director Alkesh Kumar Sharma said: “Kochi city is way ahead of many others in the country in most of the parameters that are being assessed in the survey. I hope that the residents of the city will participate in large numbers so that we get the ranking we deserve.”
EoLI is an initiative of the urban affairs ministry to help cities assess their livability in relation to global and national benchmarks and encourage cities to move towards an ‘outcome-based’ approach to urban planning and management. The ministry launched the citizen perception survey on Saturday and the window for rating the cities will be active till February 29. The survey aims to record perception of residents on 49 parameters such as governance, health, cleanliness, water supply, safety and security, economic opportunities, availability of affordable housing, power supply, transportation, recreation, environment, public service and lifestyle. The 49 indicators will later be captured through 97 data points. Based on these indices, the cities will be ranked.
In 2018, the survey was based on the reports submitted by the local bodies and there were a lot of objections to the methodology. In that year, when scaled along with 111 cities in the country on its livability index, Kochi city stood at the 45th position while Thiruvananthapuram was ranked 71.
However, there is also a growing opinion that Kochi city should not take such surveys beyond it’s face value. “I think we should not get trapped into this ranking business as cities are not comparable for historical, social and administrative reasons. These rankings give some insights but should not be used to compare cities,” said centre for public policy research chairman D Dhanuraj.
“The ground rule is that ranking is not going to make any impact on funding agencies. When international agencies come in, ranking won’t help. Ground realities do,” he said.
“We are far ahead in terms of education, health, governance and several other parameters when compared to most of the cities. Last time, there was some confusion on methodologies but this time it is going to be even tough because Malayalis have a habit of measuring our standards with the West,” said Rajan Chedambath, director, centre for heritage, environment and development (c-hed), an institution under Kochi corporation.
This article was published in The Times of India on February 6, 2020 Click here read