Bhubaneswar fourth in urban governance

The state capital has secured fourth position in an urban governance survey conducted by a Bangalore-based non-profit.

By Our Correspondent in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 18.03.18
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Aerial view of Bhubaneswar. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar: The state capital has secured fourth position in an urban governance survey conducted by a Bangalore-based non-profit.

Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy released the fifth edition of its Annual Survey of India's City Systems (ASICS) that evaluates the quality of governance in Indian cities. It covered 23 major cities across 20 Indian states and came to a final conclusion based on 89 questions.

Bhubaneswar performed well on reforms including credit rating, implementation of double-entry accounting system and publishing of demand collection book. It has also made available documents such as audited financial statements, municipal staffing data and internal audit reports online. The study also revealed that the city has made significant progress in urban governance in the past two years.

In the survey done in 2015, Bhubaneswar came in 18th, before jumping to 10th spot in 2016. Bhubaneswar scored 4.6, along with Calcutta and Thiruvananthapuram, just below Pune, which topped the list. However, the higher population of these cities saw them pip Bhubaneswar to second and third spots.

Major cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Hyderabad ranked lower than Bhubaneswar in the survey. The state capital also came out on top in the medium cities category, having population of 10 lakh or less, along with Thiruvanantapuram.

"We are working hard to improve the living standards of the city with introduction of quality infrastructure and services. We also need to be transparent in our administrative work. We have introduced a number of reform measures in our work for which we got the rank," said mayor Ananta Narayan Jena.

The survey, which mostly covered the governance component, did not measure quality of infrastructure and services such as roads and traffic, garbage, water, housing, sanitation and air pollution. Instead, it measured the preparedness of cities to deliver the services and infrastructure in a transparent and error free manner.

"We believe in transparency and, according to government directives, have provided everything online. We also commit mistakes and allow criticism. These help us improve our work," said the mayor.

"I have been to a number of other cities, but always find Bhubaneswar safe and sound. It needs some improvement in mobility and sanitation that might be achieved with time," said Satyajit Mohanty, a resident of Nayapalli.