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Bengaluru has pipped Pune to top the chart of 49 most liveable cities in India with populations of more than a million. Shimla topped the list of 62 cities with less than a million residents, according to an Ease of Living Index report for 2020 released by the housing and urban affairs ministry on Thursday. The index, the latest update of which covered 111 cities, reflects the quality of urban life in each, as measured on 15 parameters, and also takes into account local views on services offered by city administrations.

It’s no surprise that the top 10 cities in the million-plus category are in south and west India, the country’s most prosperous regions. Srinagar, in the north, figures as the second-worst city to live in, after the country’s coal capital Dhanbad. Struck by natural beauty of the Kashmir Valley, tourists have had a long record of expressing a desire to settle in Srinagar, but the realities of residence there are grim, with internet services a luxury and security breaches and disruptions routine. That Dhanbad should be even less easy to live in, by the index, speaks of how hard Jharkhand needs to work on its urban settlements. Also, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, whose cities fare poorly too.

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