India’s biggest cities are also its worst

What ease?
What ease?
Image: Reuters/Adnan Abidi
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India’s big cities are among its worst places to live in.

In the Indian government’s Ease of Living Index 2018 (pdf) released on Aug. 13, major cities like Delhi, Bengaluru, and Chennai ranked poorly on most parameters, including employment, health, pollution, and safety.

Smaller cities such as Pune, Indore, and Chandigarh aced the ranking on basic amenities such as assured water supply, transport, health facilities and governance.

This is the first such survey by the government, conducted over four months and covering 60,000 people in 111 cities.

New Delhi

India’s capital city, home to 29 million people, ranked 65th. The world’s second-largest city was ranked last in terms of health. Over the years, Delhi’s alarming pollution levels have ravaged public health.

However, among cities with populations of over four million, Delhi aced in terms of open public spaces.


India’s Silicon Valley, once home to lush gardens and open public spaces, has seen a massive population boom in recent years, changing its landscape.

Overall, Bengaluru ranked 58 out of the 111 cities.

But it ranked among the bottom five (107) in terms of safety, and among the bottom 20 on regular power supply.


The southern Indian city did reasonably well, with an overall ranking of 14 out of 111.

And despite its famously overcrowded public transport, Chennai ranked third in the country on this point. However, Chennai’s power supply remains a matter of concern for its residents.