Mumbai, Bengaluru Have Least 'Sustainable Urban Systems': Study

03/05/2016 8:13 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
MANJUNATH KIRAN via Getty Images
An Indian man picks a large dead fish from the water of Ulsoor Lake in Bangalore on March 7, 2016. Thousands of dead fish are floating on the surface of Bangalore's Ulsoor Lake in a disaster blamed on heavy water pollution. / AFP / Manjunath Kiran (Photo credit should read MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

In a study that benchmarks five world cities on the urban sustainability index, Bengaluru and Mumbai have fared the worst.

An analysis by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru shows that on the urban sustainability index, Bengaluru (0.658) and Mumbai (0.590) have the least sustainable urban systems, followed by Shanghai (0.669) and London (0.771). Singapore (0.773) emerged as the most sustainable urban system.

“It intensifies traffic problems on commuting roads from a city's central location to suburban areas. So, it's important to study the rapid urban change that is likely to take place in developing countries that are least equipped with the means to invest in basic urban infrastructure, and are unable to provide vital economic opportunities for urban residents," Balachandra Patil, one of the key researchers and part of the department of management studies & centre for sustainable technologies at IISc told Bangalore Mirror.

"The low score for urban green spaces is one of the contributors for lowering the environmental sustainability index value. Bengaluru has low sustainability scores for water pollution. It has obtained the last position for water pollution. It needs to make targeted interventions with respect to indicator categories where they have got low normalised scores,” Patil added.

One of the key concerns highlighted in the study for Bengaluru was the manifold increase in the built-up area in the last 40 years as a result of which the vegetation of the city has seen a sharp decline of 78%.

The city has lost 79% of its water bodies and 54% of lakes are encroached by illegal buildings.

Almost 66% of lakes are polluted by sewage waste, 14% surrounded by slums and around 72% showed loss of catchment area, the report shows.

“Dumping of construction debris and sewage, and pollution from vehicular emissions remain the biggest concerns,” the study said.

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