New Delhi: Security concerns, among other factors, may have contributed to major Indian cities not improving their standing in terms of quality of life in a global survey by consulting firm Mercer Llc.
Bangalore fell two places to 142 in a survey of 215 countries compared with a year earlier. Delhi stayed at 145, Mumbai fell 4 places to 148 and Chennai improved its position to 152 from 153.
Vienna topped the listing.
In terms of quality of infrastructure, Mumbai ranked 137, Delhi, 159, Bangalore, 170 and Chennai, 176.
Gangapriya Chakraverti, India business leader for Mercer’s information product solutions, said while Indian cities improved their rankings in 2008, they fell this year because of security concerns.
Also See Full List Of Rankings (PDF)
“This year, Delhi has shown improvement in city infrastructure because of what is happening with the Commonwealth Games (which the city will host in 2010),” Chakraverti said. New Delhi has embarked on a major infrastructure building drive in the run-up to the games.
“Many companies use this quality of living report when they are deciding on relocating their employees. They (the rankings) help determine the hardship allowance,” she added.
Hardship allowance refers to the compensation companies typically pay to employees for differences in the quality of life from their home cities. Most expatriates working in India earn a hardship allowance.
Meanwhile, Vienna overtook Zurich as the city with the best quality of living, according to the Mercer 2009 Quality of Living Survey. Geneva ranked third. Baghdad came in last.
Also See Low Profile (PDF)
Cities were ranked based on housing, political and social environment, economic environment, socio-cultural environment, medical and health considerations, and the quality of schools, public services, natural environment, consumer goods and recreation.
Ranjini Manian, chief executive officer, Global Adjustments Services Pvt. Ltd, a relocation services company, said fears over security were not an issue in southern India.
“You do have it more in Gurgaon, Noida and the NCR (National Capital Region). Last week, I was in our Gurgaon office and heard that they (expatriates) are trying not to drive in the dark, or trying not to drive alone; they drive in a convoy.”
Graphics by Sandeep Bhatnagar / Mint