“Total original cost of implementation of the 1453 projects was Rs 18,32,579.17 crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs 21,61,313.18 crore, which reflects overall cost overruns of Rs 3,28,734.01 crore (17.94% of original cost), ” the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation’s latest report for April 2019 said.
The ministry monitors infrastructure projects worth Rs 150 crore and above. Of these 1,453 projects, 345 reported cost overruns and 388 time escalation.
According to the report, the expenditure incurred on these projects till April 2019 is Rs 8,84,906.88 crore, which is 40.94 per cent of the anticipated cost of the projects.
However, it said the number of delayed projects decreases to 317 if delay is calculated on the basis of latest schedule of completion.
For 749 projects, neither the year of commissioning nor the tentative gestation period has been reported.
Out of 388 delayed projects, 121 projects have overall delay in the range of 1 to 12 months, 78 projects have been delayed by 13 to 24 months, 98 projects reflect delay in the range of 25 to 60 months and 91 projects show 61 months and above delay.
The average time overrun in these 388 delayed projects is 40.28 months.
The brief reasons for time overruns, as reported by various project implementing agencies, are delays in land acquisition, forest clearance and supply of equipment.
Besides, there are other reasons like fund constraints, geological surprises, geo-mining conditions, slow progress in civil works, shortage of labour, inadequate mobilisation by the contractor, Maoist problems, court cases, contractual issues, ROU/ROW (right of use/right of way) problems, law and order situation, among others, the report said.
It also observed that project agencies are not reporting revised cost estimates and commissioning schedules for many projects, which suggests that time/cost overrun figures are under-reported.