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Costs overshoot by Rs 4.43 lakh crore as major infra projects drag

New Delhi, August 29 (UNI): Nearly one-third of the 1,781 major infrastructure projects costing Rs 150 crore or more ran behind their completion schedule as of July 2021 causing a massive cost overrun.

As per Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), the total original cost of the 1,781 projects under monitoring was Rs 22,82,160 crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs 27,25,408 crore due to the delay, reflecting overall cost overruns of Rs 4,43,248 crore.

This means 20% escalation in completion cost of the projects as per the latest update.

The Ministry’s Flash Report showed that expenditure incurred on these projects till July 2021 was Rs 13,22,516 crore, which is 48.53% of the anticipated cost of the projects.

The report said that 504 projects were delayed with respect to their original schedules and 89 projects reported additional delays against their date of completion reported in the previous month.

“Of these 89 projects, 23 are mega projects costing Rs 1,000 crore and above,” said the July Flash Report prepared by the Infrastructure and Project Monitoring Division of MoSPI.

The report noted that out of the total projects under monitoring, 13 projects are ahead of schedule, 263 are on schedule, 504 are delayed, 483 projects reported cost overrun and 199 projects reported both time and cost overrun with respect to their original project implementation schedules.

Out of 504 delayed projects, 92 (18.25%) projects have overall delay in the range of 1 to 12 months, 118 (23.41%) projects have delay in the range of 13 to 24 months, 178 (35.32%) projects have delay in the range of 25 to 60 months and 116 (23.01%) projects have delay of 61 months and above.

Reasons for delay in these projects included slow pace in land acquisition, delay in obtaining environment clearances, lack of infrastructure support and linkages and delay in tie-up of project financing.

The Indian Railways had the lion’s share in delayed projects with 140 projects out of 312 delayed. This was followed by Road Transport & Highways with 106 out of 945 being in slow lane.

“Based on the above information, the concerned administrative Ministry may like to review the projects in order to avoid further cost overrun, time overruns, to firm-up milestones in case of milestone is not available, to firm-up revised cost estimates and revised commissioning schedule if the same has been not revised and lapsed,” the report said.

With many project agencies not reporting revised cost estimates and commissioning schedules for many projects, it has been feared that time and cost overrun figures are being underreported.

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