I somehow tend to disagree with this finding. I still think Chennai is far cheaper if you have to rent a place to stay. Much much cheaper than Bangalore or Mumabi (other hotspots for IT - Information Technology). Kolkotta is probably not any cheaper than Chennai (but I'm not too sure).
If you had to buy a place, Chennai is costlier than B'lore, and probably cheaper than the other metros (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkotta). Even otherwise most the day to day stuff appears cheaper to me, than other places.
Unless you are using the autos in Chennai ! If you are the type who can actually afford to hire an auto in Chennai, you must really be filthy rich ! :) The autowallahs (auto drivers) in Chennai are notorious for harassing passengers for exorbitant fares. A 1 kilometer trip could cost you anywhere between Rs.20-100 depending on your bargaining skills and whether you are a localite or tourist ! If you are a "real" Chennaiite, you know better than to take an auto. There are however some friends of mine who are probably some of the "best deal negotiators in the world" and can actually drive a bargain with these auto drivers ! I'm constantly amazed at their skill :)
[ On a side note, here's an old joke about Chennai autos : Aziz Premji, the owner of Wipro Technologies, and one of the top 5 richest men in India is supposed to actually drive an old car or quite often take the auto in Bangalore. When news of his auto trips reached Chennai, people started telling that his immense wealth would be depleted in no time if he were to ever try using autos in Chennai ! Such is Chennai auto fame :) Ok, I may be exaggerating it a bit, however this is indeed an old joke! ]
BTW, here's the article which seems to have a slightly different take on the whole thing. Maybe a conspiracy against Chennai :)
With scores of knowledge economy firms making a beeline for Chennai, bringing with them thousands of highly paid employees, the cost of living in Chennai is going through the roof. It is, in fact, the costliest metropolis in India. This may shatter many a myth about the high cost of living in Delhi or Mumbai.
According to the latest consumer price index for urban non-manual employees (CPI UNME) brought out by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), the cost of living in Chennai is a whopping 116% higher than the cost of living in Kolkata, 85% higher than Mumbai and 73% higher than Delhi. In other words, an average Chennaite shells out more than double for his or her living compared to the cost of living in Kolkata.
Read the complete article here.