Rourkela Rides On World Cup Hockey Hopes To Better Ease of Living Rank

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Rourkela: Even as the Steel City is going full throttle with its preparations for the Men’s Hockey World Cup in 2023, a new national ranking on ‘ease of living” has come as a rude shock for this aspiring Smart City in Odisha.

According to the latest Ease of Living Index released by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Rourkela is ranked a low 54 among 62 Indian cities with less than a million population.

The Index is based on various criteria in a city like education, health, housing and shelter, mobility, safety and security, environment and resilience.

Rourkela Rankings

As per the survey report, Rourkela is ranked 58th in quality of life, 26th in economic ability, 35th in sustainability and 29th in citizen perception, according to a report in The Times of India,

A top civic official has admitted that there is much room for improvement in this Smart City. “Since the ranking process involves various criteria, improvement in all these areas can only ensure an improvement in the rank,” said Deputy Commissioner of Rourkela Municipal Corporation, SK Bhoi.

High On Hockey

At the same time, Bhoi added that various projects under Rourkela Smart City Limited have helped in improving certain key areas. Besides, the upcoming Hockey World Cup in 2023 has also triggered a host of infrastructure development in the city.

For instance, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has laid the foundation stone for India’s biggest hockey stadium in Rourkela with a seating capacity of 20,000. It will be spread over 15 acres of land on Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) campus. Work will start in April this year and will be completed in 2022.

According to Chief Secretary Suresh Mohapatra, the proposed stadium will have infrastructure like parking and accommodation facilities for players. Besides, it will boast of state-of-the-art facilities including floodlight, practice pitch, gym, hydrotherapy and media centre.

Smart City Indeed

The Rourkela Smart City has secured a place in the top 25 cities in the country in the ‘Nurturing Neighbourhood Challenge’ of the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs.

The Rourkela Smart City had given five proposals for peer projects related to the creation of Infant, Toddler, Caregiver-friendly neighbourhood with key components like safe, green, accessible, playful and inclusive framework.

Laying out the plans for the city, Commissioner of Rourkela Municipal Corporation, Dibyajyoti Parida said Anganwadi Kendras will be redeveloped as smart education centres with advanced amenities and infrastructures. Baby feeding booths will be provisioned at key open spaces for ensuring comfort to the feeding mothers, baby transport vehicle-friendly walkway in parks and zebra crossing near Children Park will be made for easy accessibility and creche schools for children of working parents.

Besides, there are plans to transform the city schools into smart schools. These smart schools will have smart classrooms with robotic based learning module for easy accessibility of students, said the CEO, Rourkela Smart City.

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