Nearly 440 Infrastructure Projects Show Cost Overruns Of Rs 4.34 Lakh Crore
Towers under construction are silhouetted at sunset in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Nearly 440 Infrastructure Projects Show Cost Overruns Of Rs 4.34 Lakh Crore

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As many as 442 infrastructure projects, each worth Rs 150 crore or more, have been hit by cost overruns of more than Rs 4.34 lakh crore, according to a report.

The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation monitors infrastructure projects worth Rs 150 crore and above. Of the 1,671 such projects, 442 reported cost overruns and 536 time escalation.

"Total original cost of implementation of the 1,671 projects was Rs 21.21 lakh crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs 25.56 lakh crore, which reflects overall cost overruns of Rs 4.34 lakh crore (20.49% of original cost)," the ministry's latest report for November 2020 said.

The expenditure incurred on these projects till November 2020 is Rs 11.94 lakh crore, which is 46.71% of the anticipated cost of the projects.

However, it said the number of delayed projects decreases to 412 if delay is calculated on the basis of latest schedule of completion.

Further, the report said that for 942 projects, neither the year of commissioning nor the tentative gestation period has been reported.

Of the 536 delayed projects, 120 have overall delay in the range of 1-12 months, 134 have delay of 13-24 months, 162 reflect delay in the range of 25-60 months and 120 show delays of 61 months and above. The average time overrun in these 536 delayed projects is 44.15 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 are the other reasons, the report said.

The report has also cited 'state wise lockdown due to Covid-19' as a reason for delay in implementation of these projects.

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 said.

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