20 Mar, Gangtok : A day long state level workshop on Assessment of Liveability Indices for Sikkim was organized at the conference hall of a local hotel in Tadong, Gangtok today by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Govt. of India in coordination with UD&HD, Government of Sikkim.
The meeting was chaired by A.K. Srivastava, IAS, Chief Secretary, Government of Sikkim and attended by L.B. Chhetri, Secretary, UD&HD cum State Mission Director, Smart City Mission, Municipal Commissioner-GMC, District Collectors, East and South, MEO- Namchi, officers of line departments viz. Energy & Power, Health, HRDD, UD&HD and SREDA.
The Chief Secretary, in his inaugural address gave a brief introduction about the liveability assessment which has been initiated by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to assess the liveability standard of 116 Indian cities, which include the identified smart cities and few more cities with a population of over one million.
The cities will be assessed on 15 core parameters such as governance, social infrastructures, education, employment, health and safety and security.
The Liveability Index will also take into account physical infrastructures such as housing, open spaces, land use, energy and water availability, solid-waste management and pollution among others.
He also focused on the Sustainable Development Goals for various infrastructure development, however, he specifically mentioned the requirement of smooth traffic, good drainage system, shopping complex, amusement park, good gymnasium and most importantly, a stress relieving centre viz. meditation centre as key requirements for liveability.
The Ministry under a World Bank-funded programme, has selected IPSOS Research in consortium with the Athena Infonomics India and Economist Group for the assessment of the liveability indices.
The MOUD has developed a set of ‘Liveability Standards’ relevant to Indian cities, with 79 indicators in 15 categories for measuring institutional, social, economic and physical aspects that affect quality of life.
These include education, healthcare, roads, mobility, jobs, grievance redressal, pollution, emergency response, green open spaces, as well as cultural and entertainment opportunities.
It was informed that the economist portal would be used to spatially map the data, and the Liveability Index outputs would serve as a database for decision making on urban policy and planning.
In Sikkim, the two Smart Cities namely; Gangtok and Namchi, would be participating.
All the cities are required to submit the details by April 16 and the ranking will be announced on June 15 by MOUD.