Ease Of Living: Top Scorer Pune Needs To Work On Its Strengths
Pune’s number one position on the Centre’s ease of living Index that compared 111 cities is no small feat. However, experts are of the belief that Pune has a long way to go before it could really become a city of global standards in providing ease of living to its citizens. While doing to it will also have to work on its strengths, apart from working hard on its weaknesses.
Solid Waste Management (SWM)
With a score of 4.6 on 5, Pune is behind Tirupati in this category*, but far ahead of many Indian cities where solid waste management strategies are still on paper. The city administration plans to levy an additional user fee to ensure funds don’t dry while it manages its garbage effectively. The revenue coming from this source would help the department better the sanitation condition in the city.
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has also come up with an action plan for 2017-25 to collect and treat SWM. In 2017-18, the annual capital expenditure was Rs 78.45 crore while the revenue expenditure was estimated to be Rs 343.95 crore.
However, the PMC says that citizen apathy is certainly a deterrent. Apart from the fact that there is no lack of litterbugs, only 52 per cent of the total households segregate waste. There are also issues related to non-payment of user fee.
Health and education
Tiruchirapalli is the top scorer when it comes to health; Pune occupies the fourth spot in this crucial category. In terms of education, Pune is placed at the eight spot, way behind top ranker Faridabad. Given that both health and education define the lifestyle of citizens, this ranking is indicative of a better social infrastructure in a city. In one way, it is also indicative better employment avenues in the city. Pune may have to work quite hard on these key parameters to come out stronger in future.
Assured water supply
In providing assured water supply to residents, Tamil Nadu’s Erode is number one. Closely following is Pune with a score of 4.55 on 5.
In order to ensure water supply round the clock, the PMC undertook a project worth Rs 234 crore to repair the canals running from the Khadakwasla dam that supplies water to the entire Pune.
At the same time, reports suggest that PMC has roped in a private contractor to survey water connections in the city. The corporation wants to assess the feasibility of the 24/7 water supply project in the city. The project deadline is set for 2020-21, but the PMC has already reduced the number of meters to be set up by 40,000 bringing down the cost by Rs 100 crore.
On the other hand, water supply is also a problem area in Baner-Balewadi and corporators have been asking the PMC to restrict building activity. In 2017, over 200 housing societies faced water problem ─ it was not the first time. The previous year, they had spent Rs 12 crore collectively only on water tankers.
Despite a good ranking in this category ─ the city is ranked second in reducing pollution ─ Pune has to set up its fight against rising pollution levels in the city. The PMC’s environment status report 2017-18 revealed that rapid urbanisation and population explosion have been detrimental to environmental. While SWM is one of the major challenges for the body, the PMC is also looking at ways to deal with vehicular and noise pollution in the city.
Hadapsar and Lohegaon were marked as the worst areas affected by pollution. Also, Navi Peth, Sant Dnyaneshwar Ghat, the Ramoshi Gate Police area, Pulachiwadi, Sant Malim, Erandwane are among areas that see high noise pollution levels.