As many as 442 infrastructure projects, each worth Rs 150 crore or more, have been hit by cost overruns of over 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 21,21,383.82 crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs 25,55,957.52 crore, which reflects overall cost overruns of Rs 4,34,573.70 crore (20.49 percent of original cost)," the ministry's latest report for November 2020 said.
The expenditure incurred on these projects till November 2020 is Rs 11,93,997.81 crore, which is 46.71 percent of the anticipated cost of the projects. However, it said that 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. Out of 536 delayed projects, 120 projects have overall delay in the range of 1-12 months, 134 projects have delay of 13-24 months, 162 projects reflect delay in the range of 25-60 months and 120 projects 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, among others, 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 stated.