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August 19, 2006

The top 10 Indian cities

Business Today has a cover story ranking and profiling the top ten Indian cities, with a suitably humble tone.

This is not how best cities are supposed to be. Best cities aren't supposed to erupt in violence if an ageing movie star dies at the grand age of 77, like Bangalore did when Rajkumar died on April 12. Neither are best cities supposed to let walk-in bombers massacre home-bound rail commuters like Mumbai allowed on July 11, when more than 200 people died. Best cities are supposed to be places where all their inhabitants can find material and spiritual fulfilment. The fact that none of India's cities is so, drives home a grim fact about our fifth Best Cities for Business survey: These are best of the worst cities. Power cuts, water scarcity, congested roads, pollution, dirt and roadside squalor are par for the course at almost all Indian cities.

Yet, it is these overcrowded and crumbling cities that drive India and make it the second-fastest growing economy in the world. Cities and towns are where 30 per cent of our people live, with 38 per cent of the urban population confined to just the top 35 cities. Fifty-five per cent of the country's GDP emanates from urban India; 50 per cent of the foreign direct investment goes to the seven largest cities. Globally, cities are the engines of their economies. They are too in India.

THE TOP 10 CITIES
1 MUMBAI
2 BANGALORE
3 DELHI
4 CHENNAI
5 HYDERABAD
6 KOLKATA
7 PUNE
8 AHMEDABAD
9 MYSORE
10 VIZAG

Arun Natarajan is the Founder of Venture Intelligence, which tracks private equity and venture capital in India and Indian-founded companies worldwide. View sample issues of Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.