Silhouetted workers carry building materials at a construction site in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Amit Bhargava/Bloomberg News)

About 357 Infrastructure Projects Show Cost Overruns Of Over Rs 3.39 Lakh Crore

As many as 357 infrastructure projects, each worth Rs 150 crore or above, have shown cost overruns worth more than Rs 3.39 lakh crore owing to delays and other reasons, a report said.

The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation monitors infrastructure projects worth Rs 150 crore and above.

“Total original cost of implementation of the 1,362 projects was about Rs 17 lakh crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be around Rs 20 lakh crore, which reflects overall cost overruns of about Rs 3 lakh crore (19.91 percent of the original cost),” the ministry’s latest report for June 2018 said.

Of these 1,362 projects, 357 reported cost overruns and 272-time escalation.

The expenditure incurred on these projects till June 2018 is around Rs 7.8 lakh crore, which is 38.51 percent of the anticipated cost, according to the report.

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It, however, said the number of delayed projects decreases to 198 if the delay is calculated on the basis of the latest schedule of completion.

For 667 projects, neither the year of commissioning nor the tentative gestation period has been reported. Out of the 272 delayed projects, 65 show the delay in the range of 1-12 months, 53 projects have 13-24 months delay, 74 projects reflect the delay of 25-60 months and 80 projects show 61 months and above delay.

The brief reasons for time overruns as reported by various project implementing agencies are the delay in land acquisition, forest clearance, the supply of equipment.

Also, there are other reasons like fund constraints, geological surprises, problems in equipment erection, geo-mining conditions, slow progress in civil works, shortage of labour, inadequate mobilisation by the contractor, the Maoist problems, court cases, contractual issues, right of use/right of way problems, law and order situation, etc.

It observed that project agencies are not reporting revised cost estimates and commissioning schedules for many projects, which suggests that time or cost overrun figures are under-reported.