Indian cities worst managed

South Asian countries have among the worst managed cities and this, among other things, prevents their full integration with the global economy, Junaid Ahmad, country director-India for the World Bank said.

He said these countries should empower their mayors and make them accountable. “India and South Asia have the worst managed cities in the world because you cannot say who is responsible for the city,” Ahmad said, addressing a gathering of the Pune International Centre at the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics.

He said there are two ways to empower a mayor. “The Western way is where mayors are elected, given requisite powers and held accountable for everything that happens in the city. The other one is the Chinese way, where city managers are appointed,” he added.

“In South Asia, you have complete fragmentation of governance of city systems. This is not allowing cities to be managed as a unit,” he said.

Ahmad also said the labour force participation of women in India and in other South Asian countries is dramatically low.

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