449 infra projects’ cost overruns total Rs 4 lakh cr
According to a report by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), as many as 449 infrastructure projects, each worth Rs 150 crore or more, have been hit by cost overruns totalling more than Rs 4.29 lakh crore (Rs 4.29 trillion).
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) monitors infrastructure projects worth Rs 150 crore and above. Out of the 1,736 such projects, 449 reported cost overruns and 547 were delayed.
According to the ministry's report from February, the total original cost of implementation of the 1,736 projects was Rs 2,232,019.72 crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs 2,661,205.74 crore. The cost overrun for completing these 449 projects works out to be Rs 429,186.02 crore.
The expenditure incurred on these projects till February 2021 is Rs 1,278,270.71 crore, which is 48.03% of the anticipated cost of the projects.
However, the report states that the number of delayed projects decreases to 409 if the delay is calculated based on the latest completion schedule.
Further, for 930 projects neither the year of commissioning nor the tentative gestation period has been reported. Out of 547 delayed projects, 109 projects have overall delay in the range of 1-12 months, 132 projects have a delay of 13-24 months, 187 projects reflect delay in the range of 25-60 months and 119 projects show delays of 61 months and above. The average time overrun in these 547 delayed projects is 44.59 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.
The report also cited state-wise lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic as a reason for the delay in implementation of these projects.
It has also been noted that project agencies are not reporting revised cost estimates and commissioning schedules for many projects, which suggests that time and cost overrun figures are underreported, the ministry stated in its report.
Also read: Infra projects show huge cost overruns