437 infrastructure projects show cost overruns of Rs 4.37 lakh crore

NEW DELHI: As many as 437 infrastructure projects, each worth Rs 150 crore or more, have been hit by cost overruns of over Rs 4.37 lakh crore, according to a report. The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation monitors infrastructure projects worth Rs 150 crore and above.

Of the 1,663 such projects, 437 reported cost overruns and 531 time escalation.

“Total original cost of implementation for the 1,663 projects was Rs 21,09,236.41 crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs 25,47,057.52 crore, which reflects overall cost overruns of Rs 4,37,821.11 crore (20.76 per cent of the original cost),” the ministry’s latest report for September 2020 said.

The expenditure incurred on these projects till September 2020 stood at Rs 11,61,524.97 crore, which was 45.60 per cent of the anticipated cost.

However, it said the number of delayed projects decreases to 430 if delay is calculated on the basis of the latest schedule of completion.

Further, the report said that for 924 projects, neither the year of commissioning nor the tentative gestation period has been reported.

Out of the total 531 delayed projects, 122 projects have overall delay in the range of 1-12 months, 128 projects have delay of 13-24 months, 160 reflect delay in the range of 25-60 months, and 121 projects show delays of 61 months and above.

The average time overrun in these 531 delayed projects is 43.89 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, among others, are the other reasons, the report said.

Project agencies are not reporting revised cost estimates and commissioning schedules for many projects, which suggests that time and cost overrun figures are under-reported, the report stated.

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