The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation monitors infrastructure projects worth Rs 150 crore and above. “Total original cost of implementation of 1,351 projects was Rs 15,72,066.02 crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs 18,72,201.51 crore, which reflects overall cost overruns of Rs 3,00,135.49 crore (19.09 per cent of original cost),” the ministry’s latest report for May 2018 said.
Of these 1,351 projects, 348 reported cost overruns and 263 time escalation. According to the report, the expenditure incurred on these projects till May 2018 is Rs 7,47,302.42 crore, which is 39.92 per cent of the anticipated cost of the projects However, it said the number of delayed projects decreases to 191 if delay is calculated on the basis of latest schedule of completion.
For 650 projects, neither the year of commissioning nor the tentative gestation period has been reported. Out of 263 delayed projects, 66 projects have overall delay in the range of 1 to 12 months, 50 projects (13-24 months), 71 projects (25-60 months) and 76 projects (61 months and above), it added. The report attributes the time overrun to a host of issues, including delay in land acquisition, forest clearance, supply of equipment, fund constraint, Maoist incursion, legal cases and law and order situation.
The brief reasons for time overruns as reported by various project implementing agencies are delay in land acquisition, delay in forest clearance, delay in supply of equipment, fund constraints and geological surprises, among others. It also 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.