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The Economics of Alternative Development Pathways: A Situation Analysis for Gorakhpur, India

Authors: Kate Hawley; Dilip Singh; Bijay Singh 

Gorakhpur is a rapidly growing city and the second largest in eastern Uttar Pradesh, India. Since a large part of the city’s elevation is below the river, water-logging of lands and periodic flooding is commonplace. The bulk of the water-logging problem affects about 40% of the city, specifically the southern and western areas. However, the drainage system for the entire city is impacted. Prolonged water-logging together with poor waste management has caused an increase in incidences of vector-borne diseases and related health problems, as well as contamination of groundwater. This issue also leads to disruptions in transport systems, roads and property damage, thus affecting livelihood systems and increasing the vulnerability of the poor. The current Gorakhpur Master Plan of 2001 to 2021 builds off of the previous Master Plan that covered the period of 1971 to 2001. The Master Plan includes a number of assumptions for future land use, population, housing allocation, commercial and industrial sector, transportation, communication and urban services. Many of those assumptions failed in the 1971 to 2001 plan, and the stakeholders did not investigate the main causes of why certain goals were not met. Through the use of scenario development, ISET and GEAG are investigating transportation, housing and flood/storm management systems as well as identifying economic returns to building more resilient pathways within the Gorakhpur Master Plan. These three key development pathways can help to uncover other vulnerabilities within cities and serve as a great opportunity for influencing the decision-making processes.


Citation: Hawley, K., Singh, D., & Singh, B. (2013). The economics of alternative development pathways: A situation analysis for Gorakhpur, India. Boulder, CO: Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International.

Funded By: The Rockefeller Foundation