Over 400 infrastructure projects show cost overruns of Rs 4.95 Lakh Crore: Govt

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New Delhi, June 26: As many as 423 infrastructure projects, each involving an investment of Rs 150 crore or more, have been hit by cost overruns of more than Rs 4.95 lakh crore, according to a report. According to the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation, which monitors infrastructure projects of Rs 150 crore and above, out of 1,568 projects, 423 reported cost overruns and up to 721 projects were delayed.

“The total initial cost of implementing the 1,568 projects was Rs 21,59,802.67 crore and their expected cost of completion is…Rs 26,54,818.05 crore, reflecting cost overruns of Rs 4,95,015.38 crore (22.92% of original cost),” the ministry’s latest report for May 2022 says. Rs 42,535.22 crore or 50.57% of the planned cost of the projects.

However, the number of delayed projects decreases to 563 if the delay is calculated based on the latest completion schedule. Furthermore, it showed that for 569 projects, neither the commissioning year nor the tentative gestation period was reported.

Of the 721 projects delayed, 113 have overall delays in the range of 1-12 months, 121 were delayed 13-24 months, 350 projects 25-60 months, and 137 projects were delayed 61 months or more. The average overrun of these 721 delayed projects is 43.34 months.

Reasons for time overruns reported by various project implementing agencies include delay in land acquisition, delay in obtaining forestry and environmental permits, and lack of infrastructural support and linkages. Delay in project financing, delay in finalizing detailed engineering, change of scope, delay in tendering, ordering and supplying equipment, and public order issues are among the other reasons.

The report also cited state-level lockdowns due to COVID-19 as the reason for the delay in the implementation of these projects. It was also observed that project agencies are not reporting revised cost estimates and commissioning schedules for many projects, suggesting that time/cost overrun figures are under-reported. -he declares.

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