The pollution in the city and other unfavourable factors have pushed New Delhi down six places on a list of the world’s most liveable cities. The city is now ranked 118th shows an annual survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

But it is not only New Delhi which has registered the biggest decline in Asia, as Mumbai too has fallen two places down since last year and is now ranked 119th on the list which is topped by Vienna (Austria) for the second consecutive year.

The EIU said the decline in Mumbai’s rank was mainly due to a downgrade in its culture score, while New Delhi has fallen in the index because of downgrades to its culture and environment score as well as fall in the stability score owing to rising crime rates.

“This year we also note the demonstrable impact of the effects of climate change on liveability. Several cities, such as New Delhi in India and Cairo in Egypt received substantial downgrades on their scores owing to problems linked to climate change, such as poor air quality, undesirable average temperatures and inadequate water provision,” the report said.

The EIU also flagged “an escalation in abuses against journalists in recent years” in India, citing a decline in the country’s ranking in Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index where India now sits in the bottom quartile of countries.

The study also pointed out that Asian cities have overall scored slightly below the global average, with three cities, namely Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea which was ranked 135th, Karachi in Pakistan which was ranked 136th, and Dhaka in Bangladesh which was ranked 138th, being among the ten least liveable cities globally.

The EIU said its ranking of 140 cities is based on their scores in five broad categories — stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. Each factor in a city is rated as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable or intolerable.

“We expect problems relating to climate change to put increasing pressure on liveability scores in the coming years and for the number of cities affected to grow. In recent years liveability has generally been rising, thanks to improvements in stability and better education and healthcare provision in cities within emerging markets. But these improvements are under serious threat from an increasingly adverse climate,” EIU’s global forecasting director Agathe Demarais said.

While New Delhi has been given an overall score of 56.3, Mumbai has got 56.2, while top-ranked Vienna has scored 99.1 and least-ranked Damascus (Syria) has got 30.7 points.

A score between 50-60 points, which is the case for India, indicates constrained liveability conditions.

With Inputs From PTI