From ET Realty
HYDERABAD: For the second time in a row, Hyderabad has been crowned as the best Indian city to live in by the Mercer’s Quality of Living rankings 2016. Though the City of Nizams slipped by one place in the world rankings – 139 from last year’s 138 – it continued to top the chart within the country owing to its relatively `lower crime rate’, `lesser air pollution’ and ‘improved options for international and reputable English speaking schools’, a release issued by Mercer stated.
The drop in Hyderabad’s international rating by one international rating by one notch, according to the survey, was in light of the ‘increased power disruptions’ and ‘extreme weather situation’, particularly, in 2015 when the two states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh recorded ‘more than 1,700 deaths due to severe heat’.
Mercer is a US-based prominent global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments that conducts annual quality of living surveys to help multinational companies compensate its employees on international assignments fairly. The parameters taken into account for the survey include: political and social environment, medical care and health considerations, public services, recreation facilities and natural environment amongst others Mercer has crowned the Austrian capital Vienna as the city with the best quality of living in the world.
Back home in India, the survey observed how cities haven’t made much progress on the quality of living scale, scoring nearly the same as they did last year. Pune emerged as a close second to Hyderabad at 144 even as the upscale metropolises of Mumbai and New Delhi stood far below at 152 and 161 positions respectively. Though Chennai recorded an overall ranking of 150, it was named as one of the safest cities in India along with Hyderabad and Pune.
“In comparison to other metros, Hyderabad offers a more cosmopolitan environment and a higher standard of living at affordable rates. Real estate prices are reasonable and there is also a fine balance between modern and conservative living – something that is lacking in other metros like Bengaluru and Chennai,” said Bharani Kumar Arrol, who moved back to Hyderabad from the US less than two years ago.
While local experts of urban governance agree with parts of the survey , they reiterate how it is largely relevant to staffers of MNCs residing in the city. “The study uses a global benchmark to gauge the city .While some parts of it might be applicable to people of Hyderabad, it has more to do with MNCs and their employees,” said Srinivas Chary, dean, ASCI.