As many as 379 infrastructure projects, each entailing an investment of Rs 150 crore or more, have been hit by cost overruns of more than Rs 4.64 lakh crore in April 2023, an official report said.
According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, which monitors infrastructure projects worth Rs 150 crore and above, out of 1,605 projects, 379 reported cost overruns and as many as 800 projects were delayed.
"Total original cost of implementation of the 1,605 projects was Rs 22,85,674.25 crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs 27,50,591.38 crore, which reflects overall cost overruns of Rs 4,64,917.13 crore (20.34 per cent of original cost)," the ministry's latest report for April 2023 said.
According to the report, the expenditure incurred on these projects till April 2023 was Rs 14,13,592.88 crore, which was 51.39 per cent of the anticipated cost of the projects.
However, it stated that the number of delayed projects decreases to 598 if delay is calculated on the basis of the latest schedule of completion.
Further, it stated that for 413 projects neither the year of commissioning nor the tentative gestation period has been reported.
Out of the 800 delayed projects, 194 have overall delays in the range of 1-12 months, 175 have been delayed for 13-24 months, 306 projects for 25-60 months and 125 projects have been delayed for more than 60 months.
The average time overrun in these 800 delayed projects was 37.07 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, finalisation of detailed engineering, change in scope, tendering, ordering and equipment supply, and law and order problems were among the other reasons.
The report also cited state-wise lockdowns due to COVID-19 (imposed in 2020 and 2021) as a reason for the delay in implementation of these projects.
It has also been observed that project executing 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.
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