For the third year in a row, Hyderabad has emerged as the best city in terms of living standards among Indian cities globally, according to Mercer’s Quality of Living rankings 2017. However, Hyderabad fell by five places to 144 in this year’s rankings from 139th rank last year due to decreased power supply and water availability. Delhi for the second straight year hit the lowest score among Indian cities for living standards. Both Hyderabad and Pune (145) ranked higher for the quality of living than the country’s traditional business centers Mumbai and New Delhi, which have been ranked at 154 and 161, respectively, by the report.
While New Delhi scored well on account of its airport facility, availability of international schools and low probability of natural disasters, these positives were offset by a variety of negatives including a ‘notorious’ crime rate, air pollution and water availability, the report said. “Delhi continues to be challenged with increasing air pollution, owing to growing traffic and industrialization. Delhi’s air is the worst among world megacities, even the World Health Organisation confirmed recently. Unfortunately, there has been no improvement in air quality,” Ruchika Pal, Principal and India Practice Leader, Global Mobility, said.
Pal noted that Indian cities that have been part of the survey have not made much progress on the quality of living scale since last year. The only exception is Chennai, whose score has marginally improved mainly on account of public transport, including buses and a recently expanded two-line metro system, and improved availability of expat housing.
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Globally, Vienna topped again for the 8th time in a row for the quality of living. Rest of the top 10 spots are mostly filled by European cities. Zurich is in second place, with Munich (4), Dusseldorf (6), Frankfurt (7), Geneva (8), Copenhagen (9), and Basel, a newcomer to the list, in 10th place. The only non-European cities in the top ten are Auckland (3) and Vancouver (5). The highest ranking cities in Asia and Latin America are Singapore (25) and Montevideo (79), respectively.
Mercer’s survey also included a city infrastructure ranking that assesses each city’s supply of electricity, drinking water, telephone and mail services, and public transportation as well as traffic congestion and the range of international flights available from local airports. Singapore topped the city infrastructure ranking, followed by Frankfurt and Munich both in 2nd place. Amongst Indian cities, Mumbai is ranked the highest at 141, followed by Kolkata (149) and Pune (151), while Bangalore was rated the lowest (177) by the report.