In what is yet another jewel in its crown, the ‘City of Pearls’ has emerged as the numero uno city in India when it comes to offering the best quality of living standards in Mercer’s Quality of Living Report 2015 that was released on Wednesday. Ranked 138th globally by the Mercer report, Hyderabad beat Pune (145th) to the top spot in India and left India’s IT hub Bengaluru (146th), Chennai (151st), commercial capital Mumbai (152nd) and India’s political capital New Delhi (154th) behind in the quality of living sweepstakes. “Indian cities have not made much progress on the quality of living scale, scoring nearly the same as they did last year. However, over time, Hyderabad has emerged as a city of choice due to factors such as improved options for international schools. Additionally, the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport is located 22 km from the city and offers a good range of international flights, which improves its ranking on account of public services,” the release said.”The survey took into consideration parameters such as political and social environment, medical care and health considerations, public services, recreation facilities and natural environment among others in preparing the report,” Mercer said in a release. Elaborating on the reasons behind ranking Hyderabad ahead of traditional business centres like Mumbai and New Delhi, Ruchika Pal, India practice leader (global mobility), Mercer, said: “While other factors have remained constant, considerable population increases in Mumbai and New Delhi in recent decades have lead to an increase in problems like access to clean water, air pollution, and traffic congestion.” However, the study pointed out that Indian cities were ‘safer’ than most others in South Asia. The study rated Vienna as the city with the best quality of living in the world for the second consecutive time followed by Zurich, Auckland, and Munich at second, third, and fourth place respectively. Mercer, which is a $4 billion turnover US player in talent, health, retirement and investments, conducts its quality of living survey annually to help multinational companies and other employers compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments, the release said. A quality-of-living or ‘hardship’ allowance compensates for a decrease in the quality of living between home and host locations, whereas a mobility premium simply compensates for the inconvenience of being uprooted and having to work in another country. The report provides information and hardship premium recommendations for over 440 cities throughout the world and the ranking covers 230 of these cities.
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