There’s an undeniable reason for project delays: States working in silos, thus disrupting project execution.
An analysis of the September 2018 Flash Report, published by the Ministry of Statistics and Planning, reveals the top five states, with more than 400 projects together, who are costing the exchequer Rs 6 trillion. In return, the expenditure on these projects seems to be subdued as these five states have spent a mere Rs 2.52 billion over the past two decades.
Topping the chart is Maharashtra. The state has witnessed a cost overrun in 129 projects to the tune of Rs 1.99 trillion. However, when it comes to expenditure, Maharashtra has spent merely Rs 688.89 billion. The next in line is Uttar Pradesh. While the state has crossed a century in project delays, the cost overrun attributed to these projects was Rs 1.31 trillion as against Rs 1.27 trillion. Again, just Rs 485.88 billion was spent on these projects.
Bihar has also faced delays and cost overruns in 90 projects amounting to Rs 1.12 trillion as against the original cost of Rs 754.87 billion. Odisha, which recently witnessed the launch of numerous projects by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is not far behind! The state’s 81 projects have incurred cost overruns to the tune of Rs 970.21 billion, spending Rs 288.95 billion. Last, Tamil Nadu witnessed Rs 1.31 trillion of cost overruns against the original Rs 1.27 trillion for 70 projects.
The state has spent Rs 611.08 billion on these projects.
The numbers aside, it is evident that the country is witnessing an infrastructure boom. Sectors such as railways (mainly metro), roads, smart cities, port-led development projects and greenfield industrial cities are drawing huge investments and providing immense opportunities to medium to large developers and contractors.
Notable upcoming projects include the Mumbai Coastal Road, the bullet train, industrial corridors, and projects being awarded under the Bharatmala and Sagarmala schemes. However, the delay relay needs to reach its finish line to ensure these landmarks see the light of day – soon.
SHRIYAL SETHUMADHAVAN and RAHUL KAMAT