Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath lavishes funds and attention on his hometown Gorakhpur, setting it on a path of rapid progress with an infrastructural and development push
STEP BY STEP: The revived urea fertiliser unit in Gorakhpur. (Photographs by Maneesh Agnihotri)
In Uttar Pradesh, a lot can change in a place depending on whom it shares history with. Mulayam Singh Yadav bestowed upon his Saifai village sports stadiums, a medical college and a VVIP airstrip, while for Mayawati’s Badalpur village, her victory in the 2007 election meant 24-hour power supply, up from the meagre seven to eight hours of electricity it had to make do with earlier, though things reverted to what they were when she lost power. Now, there’s Gorakhpur, which for years had nothing but squalid lanes, crumbling infrastructure and mafia raj—until a certain monk from the Gorakhnath Math rose to become the chief minister in 2017. It wasn’t long before Gorakhpur became Yogi Adityanath’s grand undertaking. Drive in from the Lucknow highway today, and you will encounter dozens of bulldozers and excavators, all intent on changing the face of the city. From a metro rail network to a sports complex, a network of highways, a film city and massive industrial investment, Gorakhpur stands on the threshold of a spanking new future under the Yogi Adityanath regime.