Bengaluru, Silicon Valley of the East, worst in urban governance: Report
Bengaluru, India`s technology hub touted as the Silicon Valley of the East, fared the worst in urban governance as evident from its lowest ranking among 23 cities across the country in a recent survey by a city-based NGO. "Bengaluru lacks a city sanitation plan, comprehensive mobility plan and resilience strategy," said the survey by the Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy. The fifth annual survey released on Wednesday evaluated the cities based on 89 different parameters. It was based on the city-systems, namely urban planning and design, urban capacities and resources, empowered and legitimate political representation and transparency, accountability and participation of citizens.
Among the 23 cities surveyed, Pune in Maharashtra ranked the highest, followed by Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Bhubaneswar, Surat and New Delhi. While major cities in the world like London and New York scored 8.8 on a scale of 10 in the city-systems, Pune fared 5.1 and Bengaluru a mere three. "The better a city scores in the survey, the more likely that it will be able to deliver better quality life to citizens over the medium and long terms," the report said.
Twelve out of the 23 Indian cities faring below four in terms of the city-systems scores is an indication that Indian cities are "grossly under-prepared" to deliver a high quality of life that is sustainable in the long term, it noted. "The recurring floods, garbage crises, fire accidents, building collapses, air pollution and dengue outbreaks are only symptoms of this deeper governance crisis in our cities," the report reiterated.
Bengaluru has been witnessing polluted air and water bodies, with the city`s largest Bellandur Lake catching national attention after it was seen frothing several times due to toxic substances.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had directed the state in August to submit a detailed plan on reviving the 910-acre lake and asked the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to shut down about 100 polluting units around it.
Above normal rainfall from June to October last year had also exposed the city`s poor infrastructure with severe flooding of roads and low-lying areas.