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Noida catches up with top five cities

June 9, 2009

6th RANK:

Tech City

Job generator: While Noida outstrips Gurgaon in employment growth, power and crime remain major issues
Job generator: While Noida outstrips Gurgaon in employment growth, power and crime remain major issues
Twelve years ago, Adobe India’s head Naresh Gupta lived three days each in Gurgaon and Noida to pick the right place to headquarter the global software giant. For Gupta, Noida beat Gurgaon because of one main reason: easy availability of affordable, skilled manpower. “Gurgaon is good for well-off manpower, but Noida offers a larger average middle class to hire from,” says Gupta. Bonuses: better public transport, ample lower-rent housing and schools. Along with Gupta, are flocks of IT companies who have set up their operations in this satellite town of Delhi.

Today, 70 per cent of Adobe’s 1,000-plus-manpower lives within 10 minutes driving distance of its campus—convenient, since Adobe ‘s operations are 24x7. Sure, Noida isn’t as posh as Gurgaon but it outstrips its neighbourhood rival in the generation of jobs, registering 14 per cent employment growth versus 11 per cent in Gurgaon, thanks to a fountain of small scale units mushrooming every year.

Noida’s power situation is pathetic. Nearly 50 per cent of residents polled mentioned power cuts lasting 2-4 hours. Noida also has the reputation of being the crime capital of India with a whole slew of high profile murders, kidnappings and car jacking. If Noida gets these essentials right, it may just best Gurgaon in next year’s list.

Life at work (Rank 2)
Per Capita Income: Rs 85, 519 p.a (ranked 9th)
Employment growth rate of 14%

After work (Rank 22)
95% owned houses, fourth highest on our list
77% had electricity, third lowest on the list

Puja Mehra

7th RANK:

Wanted: Law & Order

Liberal no more: Clampdown on pubs and bars has taken the sheen off Bangalore
Liberal no more: Clampdown on pubs and bars has taken the sheen off Bangalore
It is not unreasonable to expect Bangalore to outrank both Gurgaon and Noida for starters, never mind Mumbai. After all, Bangalore is home to Kingfisher beer, has a lovely climate and is home to a large assortment of pubs and restaurants that easily outdo both Chennai and Hyderabad. It has some outstanding educational institutions and is India’s most hyped Silicon City. Still, over the last year, the good times have failed to roll. One factor that has tarnished the city despite its many attractions is the spate of ugly, violent attacks on women who were emerging from the city’s nightspots—the very people that continue to fuel Bangalore’s high-octane growth and its thriving night life. These attacks show that the city is unable to protect its population from thugs.

Another problem: The current regulations require bars and pubs to be shut at 11 p.m. This has two effects. It antagonises Bangalore’s youth who are in the majority and it puts the brakes on business. “We need to look at the needs of youngsters. There is a case for extending the present deadline….It’s somebody’s livelihood that we have deprived. If the concern is one of law and order, then we must step up policing, not curtail nightlife,’’ says Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, CMD of Biocon.

Life at work (Rank 5)
Per Capita Income: Rs 88,991 p.a. (6th)
Credit Growth Rate of 29%

After Work (Rank 13)
#1 in seats available for MBA medical, engineering degrees
Total IPC crimes reported: 27,049 (3rd highest)

K. R. Balasubramanyam

8th RANK:

Long way rank to go

Heavy influx: Population has rocketed
Heavy influx: Population has rocketed
Alate starter, Pune has worked assiduously to become another top Indian tech city. Companies like Wipro, IBM, Dell, Whirlpool and Coca-Cola enjoy world-class infrastructure and ambience on their campuses.

Their only plight is their surroundings. Chaotic, with badly-managed traffic, poor road connectivity and frequent power cuts, Pune has some work cut out for itself. Pune—which began as a cantonment town—took to centrestage when it became the country’s educational hub. From English Literature to Engineering, the city became a haven for students. The 1,700 companies that set up base in the city in the mid-2000s swelled the city’s population considerably. The city is now home to 54 lakh people, up by 10 lakhs since 2005. That has spelt big trouble for little Pune.

Mahesh Zagade, Commissioner, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), says that the PMC is working hard to improve infrastructure. “Several projects are being executed ....we are building tunnels, bypasses, flyovers— we are not ignorant to the city’s needs.” Let’s hope they do a better job than their brethren in Mumbai.

Anamika Butalia

9th RANK:

Model Town

Civic punch: Even tossing a cigarette butt will attract Rs 100 fine
Civic punch: Even tossing a cigarette butt will attract Rs 100 fine
Surat? On this list? Absolutely. That’s not all. Surat is ahead of both Delhi and Kolkata, both of which didn’t make it to the top ten. What makes Surat so special?

For starters, there’s not a single patch in the 324 sq. km medieval city of over 40 lakh people—better known as the diamond polishing capital of India—which doesn’t have drainage, potable water, street lights and excellent roads.

The water system here is computerised and so will the drainage system in coming days. Surat’s water treatment plant is one of the best in the country.

Synthetic textile manufacturing and diamond processing are Surat’s driving forces with a combined turnover of around Rs 6,000 crore, directly employing 12 lakh people and supporting 75 per cent of the city’s 40 lakh citizens. Surat’s synthetic textiles beat even China’s in variety and quality.

Surat’s sanitation model is awe-inspiring. Throwing a cigarette butt on a road will get you a Rs 100 fine. Surat’s sanitation workers dressed in black and blue instill more fear amongst the locals than policemen. Surat also boasts of six swimming pools of global standards and an air-conditioned indoor stadium second only to Delhi’s Talkatora. Mumbai, are you listening?

Life at work(Rank 4)
Per Capita Income: Rs 80,355 p.a. (outstrips Delhi, Kolkata & Hyderabad)
Employment Growth: 6%

After work (Rank15)
Literacy Rate: 86%
General maintenance of the city (roads, cleanliness, etc.): Ranks 3rd

Uday Mahurkar

10th RANK:

Gujarat’s pride

All lit up: Malls are big in Ahmedabad
All lit up: Malls are big in Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad is not quite the model city that its other Gujarati counterpart, Surat, is—it still has its fair share of slums and chawls. However, it is one of India’s most affluent cities: 45 per cent of households had an annual income of Rs 3-10 lakh, the 2nd highest on our list.

One of Ahmedabad’s big draws: housing that is cheaper than most other cities on this list, at Rs 1,800 per sq. ft. Coveted areas to live are the rapidly developing posh locales like Vastrapur, which is right next to the city’s consistently top ranked IIM, and on SG Road.

Surprisingly, Ahmedabad ranks 4th in our Life After Work category— this despite the ban on alcohol in the city. Either the city’s citizens don’t really crave a tipple, or the ones that do, according to residents, are able to source it easily from the city’s bootleggers. Malls are big in Ahmedabad and dot even the poorest areas , thus adding to the lifestyle quotient.

Ahmedabad’s biggest strength, however, is its infrastructure development—which has been efficient and on-track. It has an assured water supply, thanks to the Narmada. It’s power supply is amongst the best in the country—73 per cent of residents said they experienced no power cuts, the highest on our survey.

Life at work (Rank 12)
Per Capita Income: Rs 80,374 p.a. (ranked 11th)
Employment Growth: -2%

After work (Rank 3)
Percentage of households with income Rs 3-10 lakh: 45% (2nd highest )
Crimes Reported Against Women: 3rd highest at 1,526

Uday Mahurkar

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