Not easy to live in Patna, says survey

City stands at bottom three among 111 cities in india

By Shuchismita Chakraborty in Patna
  • Published 15.08.18
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A ragpicker offloads a sack of trash at a garbage dump near Gandhi Maidan police station. Telegraph picture

Patna: It's not easy to live in Patna according to a Central government survey.

Patna stands 109 among 111 cities in the country on the Ease of Living Index, 2018, released by Union ministry of housing and urban affairs on Monday. Patna scored 18.67 out of 100 in the survey.

What makes it more embarrassing is two more Bihar cities - Bhagalpur (107) Bihar Sharif (108) - feature in the bottom 10 in the living index survey that was released on Monday.

The 111 cities in the country were analysed in the survey on a 100-point scale across 78 indicators - institutional and social pillars carried 25 points each, economic pillar 5 points and physical pillar (physical infrastructure) 45 points.

Residents of Patna said on Tuesday that to a large extent the survey reflected the actual scenario of the city that it was not very liveable because it lacked many things required for the city to be liveable, while some said the survey didn't take a comprehensive approach while assessing cities.

National Institute of Technology (NIT) professor Abdur Rahman Quaff said when it comes to social indicator, there was lack of sense of safety and security among residents because of deteriorating law and order. "You talk about living index of a city and the first thing that comes to mind is how much you feel secured while living in a city. Here in Patna, we cannot imagine to venture outside house after 11pm. If we have to go to a far-off place from our house, we avoid going. There should be strict law and order. The various indicators of the survey, be it social indicator or governance or physical infrastructure of the city, all are inter-linked," he said.

"As far as social infrastructure is concerned, if a tourist enters the city, the first thing he sees is encroached roads, less parking facilities, solid waste dumped in the middle of the city and on top of it he/she will get very few places to hang out," added Quaff.

"Though new parks have been opened recently and the existing parks have been beautified, they are not on a par with the ones in Bangalore or Calcutta. The city looks congested, especially Patna City. The government hospitals, too, are not equipped and there are very few private hospitals. There are also few good private schools. These things have dragged Patna to the bottom three cities on the living index scale," added Quaff.

NIT professor Sanjeev Sinha feels the city lags behind in physical infrastructure.

"Roads have been constructed but there has been no expansion of public transport system. People still don't have much option of public transport to move from one end of the city to another. People depend on their own vehicles and this adds to traffic woes. Then there is unplanned growth in the city. The new establishments should be opened in areas such as Bihta and Danapur, where there is still vacant land. But the authorities are allowing construction in congested areas. The municipal corporation has to play a bigger role in amending the situation," said Sinha.

City ophthalmologist Sunil Kumar Singh, however, differed from Quaff and Sinha.

"People here are cooperative with outsiders. This makes the city happening. The survey done by the Union ministry doesn't take into account healthcare, educational indicators. It has mainly taken broader issues into account. The survey can't be termed fair," said Singh, declaring that Patna couldn't be among the bottom three cities on the living index scale.

PMC deputy municipal commissioner Vishal Anand said the Centre's survey results should not be seen as a failure of the civic body as the survey assessed many other department works, including traffic, police, railways among others.