As many as 438 infrastructure projects, each worth Rs 150 crore or more, have been hit by cost overruns totalling more than Rs 4.34 lakh crore, according to a report. The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation monitors infrastructure projects worth Rs 150 crore and above. Of the 1,680 such projects, 438 reported cost overruns and 539 were delayed.
“Total original cost of implementation of the 1,680 projects was Rs 21,74,182.86 crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs 26,08,330.02 crore, which reflects overall cost overruns of Rs 4,34,147.16 crore (19.97 per cent of original cost),” the ministry’s latest report for October 2021 said.
According to the report, the expenditure incurred on these projects till October 2021 is Rs 12,64,545.31 crore, which is 48.48 per cent of the anticipated cost of the projects. However, the report said that the number of delayed projects decreases to 377 if delay is calculated on the basis of the latest schedule of completion.
Further, for 837 projects neither the year of commissioning nor the tentative gestation period has been reported.
Out of the 539 delayed projects, 98 have overall delay in the range of 1-12 months, 109 have been delayed for 13-24 months, 211 for 25-60 months and 121 projects have delays of 61 months and above.
The average time overrun in these 539 delayed projects is 47.16 months.
Reasons for time overruns as reported by various project implementing agencies include delay in land acquisition, delay in obtaining forest and environment clearances, and lack of infrastructure support and linkages.
Delay in tie-up for project financing, delay in finalisation of detailed engineering, change in scope, delay in tendering, ordering and equipment supply, and law and order problems are among the other reasons.
The report also cited state-wise lockdowns due to COVID-19 as a reason for the delay in implementation of these projects. It has also been observed that project agencies are not reporting revised cost estimates and commissioning schedules for many projects, which suggests that time/cost overrun figures are under-reported, it added.