Uttar Pradesh Pro-poor Tourism Development Project (WB-P146936)

  • South Asia
Geographic location where the impacts of the investment may be experienced.
  • India
Geographic location where the impacts of the investment may be experienced.
Specific Location
Mahaaban, Nandgaon, Baldeo, Barsana, Govardhan, Shravasti, Kushinagar, Sarnath, Varanasi, Mathura
Whenever identified, the area within countries where the impacts of the investment may be experienced. Exact locations of projects may not be identified fully or at all in project documents. Please review updated project documents and community-led assessments.
Financial Institutions
  • World Bank (WB)
International, regional and national development finance institutions. Many of these banks have a public interest mission, such as poverty reduction.
Project Status
Stage of the project cycle. Stages vary by development bank and can include: pending, approval, implementation, and closed or completed.
Bank Risk Rating
Environmental and social categorization assessed by the development bank as a measure of the planned project’s environmental and social impacts. A higher risk rating may require more due diligence to limit or avoid harm to people and the environment. For example, "A" or "B" are risk categories where "A" represents the highest amount of risk. Results will include projects that specifically recorded a rating, all other projects are marked ‘U’ for "Undisclosed."
Voting Date
Dec 20, 2015
Date when project documentation and funding is reviewed by the Board for consideration and approval. Some development banks will state a "board date" or "decision date." When funding approval is obtained, the legal documents are accepted and signed, the implementation phase begins.
Department of Tourism, the Government of Uttar Pradesh
A public entity (government or state-owned) provided with funds or financial support to manage and/or implement a project.
Potential Rights Impacts
  • Cultural Rights
  • Healthy Environment
  • Housing & Property
Only for projects receiving a detailed analysis, a broad category of human and environmental rights and frequently at-risk populations.
Investment Amount (USD)
$ 40.00 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, this amount is converted to USD ($) on the date of disclosure. Please review updated project documents for more information.
Project Cost (USD)
$ 57.14 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, this amount is converted to USD ($) on the date of disclosure. Please review updated project documents for more information.
Primary Source

Original disclosure @ WB website

Updated in EWS Nov 16, 2022

Disclosed by Bank Nov 3, 2014

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Project Description
If provided by the financial institution, the Early Warning System Team writes a short summary describing the purported development objective of the project and project components. Review the complete project documentation for a detailed description.

The World Bank is considering funding a proposal by the Government of Uttar Pradesh, through its Department of Tourism, to re-structure the state tourism sector in a "pro-poor manner, with a view to increasing benefits to local communities and improving the management of its tourism destinations." The project will be implemented by "promoting an integrated area- based approach in which tourist destinations and their iconic heritage assets are planned, promoted, served, stewarded and linked geographically." The project components most likely to trigger environmental and social safeguards are related to construction activities in and around historical sites and environmentally sensitive zones, including investments in the "promotion of new activities (e.g. museums, meditation halls, festivals)," "services provision (e.g. accommodation, sanitation)" and "access improvement (e.g. roads, transportation)".

Location: The Braj Agra Corridor and the Buddhist Circuit in Uttar Pradesh have been identified as the main sites of project implementation. The proposed project destinations are "(i)Agra, Mathura, Vrindavan, Barsana, Nandgaon, Gokul- Mahavan, Baldeo and Govardhan in the Braj Region, and (ii) Varanasi, Sarnath and Kushinagar and Sravasti in the Buddhist Circuit."

Resources needed: Land in densely populated areas

Early Warning System Project Analysis
For a project with severe or irreversible impacts to local community and natural resources, the Early Warning System Team may conduct a thorough analysis regarding its potential impacts to human and environmental rights.

Risk Assessment: Category A.

The World Bank classifies proposed projects based on the type, location, sensitivity, and scale of the project and the nature and severity of its potential environmental impacts. Category A is assigned to a project only if it is likely to have "significant adverse environmental impacts that are sensitive, diverse, or unprecedented." This project is Category A because the project target areas contain World Heritage Sites, nationally designated historic and cultural properties, and "environmentally sensitive zones" and may also impact natural habitats.

Applicable Social & Environmental Standards

Environmental Assessment OP/BP 4.01 -

This safeguard is triggered because the project will fund civil works, such as the rehabilitation of local infrastructure in touristic areas and around heritage sites. Environmental impacts are anticipated during the construction phase.

Involuntary Resettlement OP/BP 4.1

This safeguard is triggered because the project will support civil works including rehabilitation of heritage assets and upgrading of local infrastructure in some densely populated or visited areas. Most adverse impacts are expected to happen during construction stage, especially for improvement of access roads, construction of tourist amenities and household basic services (i.e., toilet), and upgrading of public spaces.

Physical Cultural Resources OP/BP 4.11

This safeguard is triggered because the project will support rehabilitation as well as the promotion of tourism in communities surrounding cultural and historic sites. Activities most likely to have an impact relate to rehabilitation works and the provision of basic services and access to surrounding communities, where lesser known monuments may be present.
Sub-projects have not yet been identified and may also trigger the following safeguards:

Natural Habitats OP/BP 4.04

Some of the project activities may be located in environmentally sensitive areas. Bank documents state that the potential impact on existing natural habitats will be determined during project preparation.

Forests OP/BP 4.36

Some of the project activities involve landscaping of tourist and pilgrimage areas.
Bank documents also voice concerns that [t]he UP Tourism Department has not implemented investment projects supported by the World Bank. Hence their capacity in safeguard policies implementation is weak.

People Affected By This Project
People Affected By This Project refers to the communities of people likely to be affected positively or negatively by a project.

Our Risk Assessment

The Right to a Healthy Environment

Construction activities in and around touristic areas and heritage sites may have environmental impacts. The World Bank is yet to decide if the project triggers the Natural Habitats safeguard as project activities may be located in environmentally sensitive areas.

Right to Property & Adequate Housing

The touristic and religious sites targeted by this project are located in densely populated areas. Construction activities related to the aims of improving access and management of tourist sites include the involuntary resettlement of populations in surrounding areas. Bank documents cite the Taj Mahal in Agra which is surrounded by more than 200 slums with crumbling infrastructure and services, and associated low living standards lost opportunity.

Right to Culture

The rehabilitation of infrastructure and civil works in areas surrounding target sites and the promotion of tourism may have impacts on communities right to cultural resources. Bank documents note [t]he possible discovery of archeological sites or random findings during the execution of civil works requires special treatment. Bank documents also state that sub projects will be located in the surroundings of Sarnath and Khushinagar, two of the four main Buddhist sites in the world, and may also be located in sensitive zones such as Taj Ganj.

Investment Description
Here you can find a list of individual development financial institutions that finance the project.

Bank financing: World Bank, IBRD Loan, Investment Project Financing
Borrower: Uttar Pradesh Department of Tourism, India
Amount of bank loan or investment: $210 million
Total project cost: $300 million

Contact Information
This section aims to support the local communities and local CSO to get to know which stakeholders are involved in a project with their roles and responsibilities. If available, there may be a complaint office for the respective bank which operates independently to receive and determine violations in policy and practice. Independent Accountability Mechanisms receive and respond to complaints. Most Independent Accountability Mechanisms offer two functions for addressing complaints: dispute resolution and compliance review.

Mr. Amrit Abhijat
Secretary, Department of Tourism
Tel: 91-9453444888
Email: amritabhijat@gmail.com


The World Bank Inspection Panel is the independent complaint mechanism and fact-finding body for people who believe they are likely to be, or have been, adversely affected by a World Bank-financed project. If you submit a complaint to the Inspection Panel, they may investigate to assess whether the World Bank is following its own policies and procedures for preventing harm to people or the environment. You can contact the Inspection Panel or submit a complaint by emailing ipanel@worldbank.org. You can learn more about the Inspection Panel and how to file a complaint at: http://ewebapps.worldbank.org/apps/ip/Pages/Home.aspx.

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