According to a report, 384 infrastructure projects, each with an investment of Rs 150 crore or more, have seen an increase in cost of over Rs 4.52 lakh crore.
According to the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation, which monitors infrastructure projects worth Rs 150 crore and above, out of 1,529 projects, 384 reported cost overruns and 662 projects were delayed.
“The total original cost of implementation of the 1529 projects was Rs 21,25,851.67 crore and their estimated completion cost is likely to be Rs 25,78,197.18 crore, showing a total cost escalation of Rs 4,52,345.51 crore (21.28% of the original cost)” The ministry’s latest report for September 2022 said.
According to the report, Rs 13,78,142.29 crore or 53.45 per cent of the estimated cost of the projects was spent on these projects till September 2022.
However, the number of delayed projects comes down to 531 if the delay is calculated based on the latest schedule of completion.
Further, it shows that for 603 projects, neither the year of commissioning nor the expected construction period has been reported.
Out of 662 delayed projects, 133 have a total delay of 1-12 months, 124 have a delay of 13-24 months, 276 projects have a delay of 25-60 months and 129 projects have a delay of 61 months and above .
The average time taken in these 662 delayed projects is 42.08 months.
Reasons for overruns reported by various project implementing agencies include delays in land acquisition, delays in obtaining forest and environment clearances, and lack of infrastructure support and linkages.
Delays in tie-up for project funding, finalization of detailed engineering, changes in scope, tenders, orders and equipment supplies, and law and order problems are among other reasons.
The report also cited the state-wise lockdown due to COVID-19 as the reason for the delay in implementation of these projects.
It has also been observed that project agencies are not reporting revised cost estimates and commissioning schedules for many projects, which shows that the time/cost escalation figures are under-reported.
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