361 infra projects show cost overruns of over Rs 3.77 trillion, says report

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As many as 361 infrastructure projects, each worth Rs 150 crore or more, have shown cost overruns to the tune of over Rs 3.77 trillion 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. Of these 1,623 projects, 361 reported cost overruns and 496 time escalation.

"Total original cost of implementation of the 1623 projects was Rs 19,25,107.47 crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs 23,02,230.50 crore, which reflects overall cost overruns of Rs 3,77,123.03 crore (19.59% of original cost)," the ministry's latest report for May 2019 said.

According to the report, the expenditure incurred on these projects till May 2019 was Rs 8,91,512.91 crore, which is 38.72 per cent of the anticipated cost of the projects. However, it said the number of delayed projects decreases to 399 if delay is calculated on the basis of the latest schedule of completion.

For 684 projects, neither the year of commissioning nor the tentative gestation period has been reported. Out of 496 delayed projects, 166 projects have overall delay in the range of 1 to 12 months, 105 projects 13 to 24 months, 128 projects reflect delay in the range of 25 to 60 months and 97 projects show 61 months and above delay.

The average time overrun in these 496 delayed projects is 36.98 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.