400 infra projects’ show over Rs 4 trillion overrun due to delays

As many as 400 infrastructure projects, each worth Rs 150 crore or more, have been hit by total cost overruns of over Rs 4 lakh crore owing to delays and other reasons, according to a report.

The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation monitors infrastructure projects worth Rs 150 crore and above.

Of such 1,698 projects, 400 projects reported cost overruns and 578 projects time escalation.

“Total original cost of implementation of the 1,698 projects was Rs 20,41,114.88 crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs 24,41,837.32 crore, which reflects overall cost overruns of Rs 4,00,722.44 crore (19.63 per cent of original cost),” the ministry’s latest report for November 2019 said.

The expenditure incurred on these projects till November 2019 is Rs 10,50,331.59 crore, which is 43.01 per cent of the anticipated cost of the projects.

However, the number of delayed projects decreases to 484 if delay is calculated on the basis of latest schedule of completion.

Further, it said that for 728 projects neither the year of commissioning nor the tentative gestation period has been reported.

Out of 578 delayed projects, 190 projects have overall delay in the range of 1 to 12 months, 121 projects in the range of 13 to 24 months, 146 projects reflect delay in the range of 25 to 60 months and 121 projects show delay of 61 months and above.

The average time overrun in these 578 delayed projects is 38.84 months.

The brief reasons for time overruns, as reported by various project implementing agencies, are delays in land acquisition, forest clearance and supply of equipment.

Besides, there are other reasons like fund constraints, geological surprises, geo-mining conditions, slow progress in civil works, shortage of labour, inadequate mobilisation by the contractor, Maoist problems, court cases, contractual issues, ROU/ROW (right of use/right of way) problems, law and order situation, among others, the report said.

It also observed that project agencies are not reporting revised cost estimates and commissioning schedules for many projects, indicating that time or cost overrun figures are under-reported.

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