Monday, December 19, 2011

Delhi vs Mumbai

The sociologist in me is slightly allergic to the cleanliness of categories. But typologies are tempting, especially when one’s colleagues happen to be really good economists. Now that I have justified what I am about to do, let’s get straight to the subject: The classic debate between Delhites and Mumbaikars – “Which city wins?”

Even Times of India couldn’t pick a side last Sunday. Both Delhi and Mumbai, with an equal score of 2.9/5 ended up sharing a rank of 3 in the TOI-IMRB Quality of Life Survey. This survey of the 8 most populated Indian cities (they missed Surat), found Ahmedabad to be the ‘best’ city to live in, followed by Pune; Kolkata came last. If the set of ‘expert panel’ and 150 city-zens of a specific socio-economic class surveyed in each city is any representation of popular perceptions, these are the numbers to support your claims if you land up in a Delhi vs Mumbai conversation. 

Delhi Daredevils
Delhi had the best sports and cultural facilities in India, in contrast to Mumbai which ranked 8. Not surprisingly, Mumbai’s open spaces could not accommodate competition too well in this category wherein Delhi ranked 1. Although Ahmedabad bagged the top spot in housing, Delhi nicely outperformed Mumbai. These rankings do not easily disclose the poor performance of India’s top scorers. As also mentioned in the TOI article, even the best rated cities seldom had a rating of more than ‘average’ (3/5) on a scale ranging from "very poor" (1/5) to "very good" (5/5). On a more deserving note, Delhi’s hospitals, schools and colleges emerged as the best in the country with Mumbai not very far behind. Cultural heritage was another parameter on which all cities fared well, although Mumbai lost the crown to Delhi again.

Parameters
Delhi
Mumbai
Delhi
Mumbai
Rank/8
Rank/8
% Score
% Score
Sports/Cultural facilities
1
8
58
44
Housing
3
8
56
40
Hospitals
1
5
64
58
Colleges
1
5
76
66
Schools
1
3
76
70
Cultural heritage
1
6
72
60
Quality of air
1
7
54
42
Open spaces
1
8
58
36

Mumbai Indians
The 2nd most cosmopolitan city of India, Mumbai is where you want to be if those who work hard, party hard are your kind. Kolkata ranked 1 in cosmopolitanism even though it had the lowest over-all score. Girls might want to vote for Mumbai for being significantly more women-friendly than Delhi, which had a pathetic record – the lowest score in any category. The law and order situation was the best in Mumbai which also appeared to be quite well-endowed with power and water supply, scoring 76% in both facilities.

Parameters
Delhi
Mumbai
Delhi
Mumbai
Rank/8
Rank/8
% Score
% Score
Cosmopolitanism
5
2
60
68
Work Culture
6
1
58
66
Night Life
5
1
46
64
Women friendliness
8
2
34
64
Law & Order
6
1
48
62
Power/Electricity
4
2
64
76
Piped water facilities
5
1
56
76

Big cities vs small cities (population under 10 million)
Living in the biggest cities of India seems to come at the expense of not just money but also peace of mind. Delhi and Mumbai are the most expensive cities to live in and both scored badly on stress levels. The income generated though is spoilt for choices in both cities, evident from their good scores on eating out, entertainment and shopping options. Job opportunities are their commanding heights although a younger city like Bangalore has emerged and displaced Mumbai from the 2nd to the 3rd place.  The bane of city-life – commuting – is relatively easier in Delhi and Mumbai than other cities (!) While public transport is a winner in Mumbai, the traffic situation and parking facilities are better in Delhi. However, their poor scores on civic sense and respect for values put their glory to shame. At 50%, the quality of their local administration squares up.  

Parameters
Delhi
Mumbai
Delhi
Mumbai
Rank/8
Rank/8
% Score
% Score
Cost of living
7
8
44
40
Relaxed (not stressful)
6
8
44
40
Respect for values
8
6
50
58
Civic sense
6
5
40
44
Local Administration
5
5
50
50
Eating out facilities
2
1
70
72
Shopping options
1
1
70
70
Entertainment facilities
3
1
66
72
Job opportunities
1
3
68
64
Public transport
2
1
62
70
Parking facilities
1
2
42
40
Traffic situation
1
2
48
42

Overall, Delhi topped in the most categories (11), even more than Ahmedabad (9), which won the best city.  However in each case, 5 of the winning spots were shared with another city. Similarly, Mumbai topped in 8 out of 30 parameters, but claimed the first rank exclusively in 6 variables, just as many as Delhi (these are in bold). The comparison at the end of day seems to be between apples and oranges. If quality of life is measured materially, Delhi wins for having better infrastructure and more space. But a city’s magnetism also emanates from its cosmopolitan culture and lifestyle, so it is not a surprise that the most peopled city in India happens to be Mumbai.




5 comments:

  1. "Kolkata came last" doesn't somehow ring true. But see Sanjeev Sanyal's piece on the city and its "software" http://www.business-standard.com/india/storypage.php?autono=373202

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  2. it may also be interesting to see how city scores are changing, so are delhi/mumbai (or for that matter, any other city) faring better than say two years ago. "improvement index" could perhaps be another parameter that can give some inkling of times to come

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  3. Two Sundays later, the debate shifts to the cover page of The Economic Times "Can Mumbai Get its Mojo Back?"

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/et-cetera/mumbai-vs-delhi-is-the-race-over/articleshow/11235198.cms

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